The decision to award France the 2023 World Cup and snub World Rugby's recommended hosts South Africa does not represent a humiliation for the governing body, insists chairman Bill Beaumont.
Wednesday's announcement came as a surprise to many after World Rugby's independent review had deemed the African nation to have tabled the preferred bid.
Ireland's hopes were dashed after the first round of voting, with the second round seeing France claim 24 votes to South Africa's 15.
Afterwards, Beaumont rejected the notion that the outcome had been a chastening experience.
"A humiliation for me? I don't think so. I don't think that at all," said the former England international.
"There's always got to be one recommendation in the evaluation process and that was South Africa.
"Just because it went to France doesn't mean there's humiliation whatsoever.
"If you look, there wasn't a great deal between France and South Africa in the evaluation report. It was very close.
"We feel the process has been absolutely transparent. Everyone's been able to see how the scoring was."
SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux said the decision process became "opaque", urging a change for future tournaments.
"We have said throughout that we would honour both the letter and the spirit of the process and we now consider the 2023 bidding process closed," he said.
"However, in the feedback sessions I am sure we will be recommending to the World Rugby Council that the verdict of the evaluation committee become binding.
"World Rugby ran an exhaustive and transparent process for 15 months to identify the best host nation, only for the process to go entirely opaque for the past two weeks."