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Ireland at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Cabinets To Consider Irish Bid For 2023 Rugby World Cup

Cabinets To Consider Irish Bid For 2023 Rugby World Cup

The Irish Government and Northern Ireland Executive are to consider proposals for an all-Ireland bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne says Ireland has ‘great potential’ to host such a tournament.

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar TD, used the inaugural IRB World Rugby Conference and Exhibition in Dublin to outline his desire to bring the Rugby World Cup to this island.

Speaking during the opening day of the event, Minister Varadkar said: “It’s great for Ireland and for Irish rugby that the International Rugby Board has chosen Dublin for this conference on major rugby events.

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“The timing couldn’t be better as the Government will, shortly, consider formal proposals for an all-Ireland bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. This would have huge benefits for Ireland’s profile, not least in terms of rugby, but also for tourism, business, the overall economy and national morale.

“Research commissioned by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport was positive about the feasibility of an all-Irish bid. Obviously it’s still early days, but thanks to the goodwill of the GAA we would have almost all the required stadiums, as well as the Aviva (Stadium) and the provincial rugby stadiums.

“Hosting the Rugby World Cup is probably the biggest international event that a country of our size could achieve. It would be done on an all-island basis. I think people at home and in the diaspora would rally behind the bid if we get the preparation done, and if we can secure the tournament.”

IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne, who has been working on the potential bid since 2011 alongside the two Governments, says there is no reason why Ireland cannot follow in the footsteps of 2011 Rugby World Cup hosts New Zealand and stage a successful tournament on these shores.

“This sort of bid couldn’t happen without committed support from the Governments both north and south. We’ve had discussions with Leo Varadkar and we’ve had discussions with Arlene Foster in the Northern Ireland Government and in principle I think they’re all very supportive,” Browne told Today FM’s ‘Last Word’ programme.

“It obviously needs now to go to cabinet and Leo Varadkar has said that he’s bringing it to cabinet tomorrow (Tuesday), and obviously it would need to go to cabinet in Northern Ireland as well.

“Yes, it’s a big bid and it’s a big undertaking. But if it can be done in a country like New Zealand which is a similar size in terms of population, there’s no reason on earth why it can’t be done here.”

Browne explained that the 2023 Rugby World Cup bidding process will commence in 2016 and ‘decisions will be taken by the IRB in 2017’. Ireland are likely to face competition from France, South Africa and Italy, who have all expressed an interest in bidding for the tournament.

Minister Varadkar said that hosting the Rugby World Cup could boost the economy by as much as €;800 million, while both he and Browne praised the GAA for their ‘crucial’ support of the potential bid.

The IRFU Chief Executive added that given its 82,300-capacity, Croke Park would be used to host the tournament’s semi-finals and final.

“This has to be a commercial bid and a significant portion of the revenues for a Rugby World Cup are generated in the semi-finals and final and require a large capacity stadium.”

Asked about some of the grounds that could be used during the rest of the tournament, Browne told journalists at the IRB event: “There is perfect infrastructure in place. We have Croke Park – one of the biggest stadiums in Europe – we have the Aviva Stadium, we have a redeveloped Casement Park coming on stream in Belfast.

“We have a redeveloped Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork which will be coming on stream, so we will have about about five stadia coming on stream each with capacity in excess of 40,000.”

Related Links –

Availability Of GAA Grounds For IRFU RWC Feasibility Study

Rugby World Cup Website