South Africa have reentered the race with France and Ireland to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup after a move by the South African government paved the way for their bid.

The South African government said it had lifted a ban on the country's rugby union hosting international events after it made progress improving racial diversity in the sport.

The Springboks are bidding to host the global showpiece along with Ireland and France, with a decision due in November.

The South Africa government imposed the ban last year having pushed for the country's main sports to create more opportunities for black players and administrators more than two-decades after the end of white-minority rule under the Apartheid system.

The ban also applied to athletics, cricket and netball.

"I would like to congratulate rugby, cricket and netball on their improved scores, you were clearly willing to walk the extra mile," Sports Minister Thulas Nxesi said in a statement issued by South African Rugby.

"Their right to bid for and host major sporting events, which was revoked before, is hereby immediately reinstated."

Cricket and netball have also had their sanctions lifted, while the ban remained in place for the athletics federation.

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Nxesi, who is new in the post, said he expected sporting federations to provide leadership on racial diversity at school and club levels.

The government report also examines participation demographics, governance, and employment equity from school to elite level.

"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," SA Rugby president Mark Alexander said.

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