An official complaint regarding the 2023 Rugby World Cup evaluation report has been submitted by Ireland after officials from the country claimed their bid had been scored "unreasonably".
In what marks the latest development in the ontroversy following the release of the report last week, which recommended South Africa be awarded the tournament ahead of Ireland and France, the Irish Rugby Football Union has detailed its grievances in a letter to World Rugby.
According to the BBC, the four-page letter, written by IRFU chief executive Philip Browne and addressed to World Rugby counterpart Brett Gosper, asks a number of questions and seeks clarification on issues which saw Ireland finish last of the three bids in the evaluation.
The report had South Africa ranked highest with 78.9 per cent, France second with 75.8 per cent and Ireland third with 72.2 per cent.
Stadia, security, major event hosting experience and financial, commercial and commitments are among the areas where Ireland has expressed concern as to how their bid scored compared with the others, particularly South Africa.
"There are very clear examples in recent times of starkly empty stadia in South Africa for significant fixtures," Browne wrote.
"The evaluation report does not appear to address this in any meaningful way.
"Was an independently recognised, world class security organisation used to review the underlying security situation within each bidding country... if not, why not?
"In our opinion, Ireland's scoring has suffered unreasonably, relative to the scoring for other bidders."
Ireland's bid chairman Dick Spring criticised the report earlier this week.
Spring expressed "shock" at the "narrow, operational and theoretical" approach which, he claims, the technical review group took in selecting South Africa in preference to either France or Ireland.
French Rugby Federation President Bernard Laporte, meanwhile, warned the recommendations in the report raise the risk of the sport being seen as weak on tackling doping.
The report highlighted the French law that criminalises doping as a "risk" to the competition.
It is claimed this could be a danger to the World Cup because the Government had not provided any guarantees that players competing at the tournament would be given exemptions to the law, first imposed in 2008.
In another attack on World Rugby, Laporte, who had previously accused the global governing body of "lies", "negligence" and "amateurism", claimed the report "allows for doping being acceptable and leaving the door open to abuse".
"France is the leader in the crackdown and fight against doping worldwide," Laporte told British newspaper The Times.
"If the World Anti-Doping Agency sees this report, they will not believe it.
"It is laughable.
"When you read a statement like that you allow for doping being acceptable and leaving the door open to abuse."
The France 2023 bid team have also written a letter to World Rugby and its chairman, Bill Beaumont, detailing 20 aspects of the report which they claim are incorrect.
In a statement in response to Laporte's claims, World Rugby said: "The fact is World Rugby is not seeking an exemption for players from French law.
"Our expectation would be that in the case of there being an adverse analytical finding against a player during the tournament, that normal anti-doping due process be allowed to continue to completion.
"Once that process was complete, criminal proceedings would follow if required by national law.
"This expectation would not extend to include cases of suspected trafficking or the supply of banned substances.
"In accordance with WADA's position and in line with the UNESCO International Convention Against Doping in Sport, World Rugby actively supports the robust policing of groups or individuals who are ultimately putting banned substances into the hands of athletes."
insidethegames has contacted World Rugby for reaction to Ireland's complaint.