South Africa back in the running for 2023 Rugby World Cup

Updated: 

South Africa is back in the running to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup after a ban on the country staging such events was lifted.

The suspension was imposed on rugby, cricket, athletics and netball following their failure to meet diversity targets.

Rugby, cricket and netball have now been cleared to host major tournaments once again, with sports minister Thulas Nxesi saying they were "clearly willing to walk the extra mile".

And SA Rugby president Mark Alexander welcomed the opportunity to continue with the work to take the World Cup to South Africa in six years' time.

"This is great news and a tribute to the work that the sport has been doing in recent years to stay in tune and relevant to modern South Africa," he said.

"We can now put the finishing touches to what we believe will be an outstanding bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

"We have kept the ministry up to speed with our thinking and state of preparation throughout the suspension and continue to enjoy an excellent relationship with our sports leaders."

Ireland and France are also in the running to host the tournament, with the winning bid set to be revealed on November 15.

South Africa last hosted the World Cup in 1995.