The man in charge of the French bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup says the European nation must host the tournament to halt the 'death of international rugby'.

France, Ireland and South Africa are all attempting to host the tournament in six years, with World Rugby to announce the winning bid on November 16.

Claude Atcher, the head of the French 2023 bid, has claimed that a vote for France would save world rugby.

"If we don't do anything, in five to 10 years you will have two, three to four teams on the same level and that's all, and I think rugby will die," Atcher told the Guardian.


"If you are looking at New Zealand, the best team in the world, their financial report in June showed they lost €3m [£2.65m]. South Africa, they lost €2m. Australia, they have a lot of issues with structure, teams, players and financially.

"Italy's financial report in June showed that they lost £2m. Scotland, Wales and Ireland are not losing money but they are balanced in terms of budget. The only unions with a profit are England and France.

"We are not World Rugby and do not want to fight with them, they are a key body. But to develop rugby we need some new teams, a strong team in the USA, Russia and China, and emerging countries, to increase the capacity of rugby and to involve more people around the world."

Atcher made note of the All Blacks' 57-0 thrashing on the Springboks on Saturday, where the world champions beat the world's third ranked team for the 14th time in 16 tests. Many star players in South Africa have opted for cash-rich European contracts in recent years to the detriment of the Springboks.

"If we are awarded the World Cup it will accelerate our political changes with the professional championship in France," he added. "If we don't change the rules in five years or 10 years, all South African, Australian and New Zealand players will play in France, in England," the Frenchman told the Guardian.

"The best players are not playing for the national team so the results are not as expected by the unions, so it's very damaging. If you look at the English Premier League in football, it's exactly the same situation. All clubs are using foreign players and the results of England's national team are the same as the French rugby team and we have to change that."

France last hosted the World Cup in 2007 and was a co-host in 1991. South Africa has only hosted the tournament once, in 1995, while Ireland have never held the event but recently staged the women's World Cup.