France will host the Rugby World Cup for a third time in 2023 after beating off competition from favourites South Africa and Ireland.
The Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) board last month unanimously recommended South Africa to host the tournament in six years' time.
Yet World Rugby Council members on Wednesday voted in favour of the France bid, despite South Africa being picked out as a "clear leader" a couple of weeks before decision day.
France presented the tournament solo for the first time in 2007, having played joint-host in 1991 with the UK and Ireland, and they will also stage the 10th edition of the tournament.
The successful French bid received 18 votes in the first round of voting to South Africa's 13, with only eight in favour of Ireland.
A decisive second round of voting resulted in France getting 24 votes to South Africa's 15.
World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said: "I think we've been fortunate to have three great bids and certainly there's going to be two of the countries extremely disappointed.
"Obviously delighted for France that they've run a World Cup before, they have run events before and I think it will be a really exciting tournament."