South Africa back in contention to host 2023 Rugby World Cup

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By David Hunter

South Africa have reentered the race to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. 

They'll be bidding alongside Ireland and France - with a decision due in November. 

It comes after the South African government lifted a ban on the country's rugby union body hosting international events - after it made progress improving racial diversity.

The South Africa government imposed the ban last year having pushed for the country's main sports to create more opportunities.

Black players and administrators had been seen as being held back more than two-decades after the end of white-minority rule under the Apartheid system.

The new regulations cover a number of other popular sports including cricket and football. 

South African Sport Minister, Thulas Nxesi , said: "I would like to congratulate rugby, cricket and netball on their improved scores, you were clearly willing to walk the extra mile."

High profile figures including politicians, musicians and former Rugby star Brian O'Driscoll have supported the Ireland bid for 2023. 

The IRFU is hopeful that the tournament can be secured with games to take place in Northern Ireland and the republic. 

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