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Ireland at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Ireland Formally Delivers Its Bid To Host A Rugby World Cup ‘Like No Other’

Ireland Formally Delivers Its Bid To Host A Rugby World Cup ‘Like No Other’

Ireland’s team bidding to host Rugby World Cup 2023 has submitted its formal bid document (Candidature File), promising a ‘tournament like no other, full of Irish spirit, that will capture the imagination of the world and help to drive rugby’s global momentum’.

Ready For The World – www.irishrugby.ie/ireland2023

The Candidature File is a massively detailed document in which the Irish bid team chronicles Ireland’s outstanding attributes as a host for the Rugby World Cup in 2023, including all the key Government commitments required by World Rugby.

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The 990-page document sets out the plans that will deliver unprecedented commercial success and help unlock and engage new audiences for rugby, including through the infrastructure of the worldwide Irish diaspora. The Candidature File was submitted to World Rugby headquarters by a delegation led by ‘Bid Kid’ Alex Place from Templepatrick, Co. Antrim.

The 11-year-old was one of 120 children carrying flags to represent every rugby playing nation of the world, who joined with Dick Spring, Chairman of Ireland’s RWC 2023 Bid Oversight Board, IRFU President Stephen Hilditch, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross TD, Bid Ambassador Brian O’Driscoll, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt and members of all the Irish international rugby teams to hand deliver the landmark document.


Alex, in formally submitting the document, said: “It is a great honour to present this bid document to World Rugby on behalf of all the people of Ireland.”
Dick Spring, Chairman of Ireland’s RWC 2023 Bid Oversight Board, stated: “This bid represents the hopes and aspirations of the entire Island and is focused very firmly on the future, as symbolised by the children who were front and centre of the bid submission today.

“It presents World Rugby with a compelling proposition that combines all the advantages of a traditional rugby market with the many opportunities of a new one.

“Rugby is hugely popular in Ireland and growing, from this platform Irish sports fans will light up the tournament in the manner they have lit up so many international events around the world over the years, making it memorable for all.

“This bid is grounded in certainty through unparalleled Government support, the availability and suitability of sold-out, iconic stadiums set in the heart of cities and towns, and, of course Ireland’s unrivalled access, through our diaspora, to the North American market. When one adds to that our massive tourism infrastructure one is guaranteed a tournament like no other for world rugby, visitors and home supporters alike.

“As I have mentioned, a key part of our vision is to support the growth of rugby worldwide – by using the Rugby World Cup in Ireland to connect with the wonderful support of the Irish diaspora worldwide, particularly some 40 million in North America alone. Through the diaspora and Ireland’s existing, proven platforms with them, this tournament will set new records for travelling fans and connect with new audiences for the game internationally.

“Ireland’s commitment is further underlined by the fact that Rugby World Cup 2023, from the turn of the decade, will be our sole focus in terms of a major international sporting event, ensuring no distractions for key host authorities and no competition for the attention of Irish sports fans and sponsors. Ireland is truly ready for the world – ready to host the world and ready to promote rugby throughout the world.”

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD
said: “This bid has the total support of the Irish Government. We can guarantee that Ireland has the capacity to deliver a wonderful Rugby World Cup in 2023 which will have the backing of people throughout the island. We will welcome the world to our shores and encourage interest in the game of rugby like never before.”
Sir Malcolm McKibbin, Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, said: “This is a historic day. The Rugby World Cup is one of the largest sporting events on the planet. North and south we are passionate about this magnificent sport that brings people together. We are united across the island behind this bid to host the event in 2023 which would give us an unprecedented opportunity to showcase our sporting talent and world class tourism on a global stage.

“In Northern Ireland we have been punching well above our weight for many years when it comes to hosting events with a worldwide audience, and I genuinely believe that this bid has what it takes to deliver a spectacular event. I want to pay tribute to everyone involved in putting together the bid which exemplifies the strength of partnership working throughout the island.”

Shane Ross TD, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, commented: “Ireland has today put its best foot forward in the bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023. Today is the culmination of almost five years of work since the IRFU first explored the idea in the aftermath of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, work by the IRFU, the Government, our counterparts in the Northern Ireland Executive, and many unsung people working very hard behind the scenes. I am fully confident we have put in a bid that best reflects Ireland’s strengths, attributes, and our capacity to host a tournament that would do Ireland and World Rugby proud.”
Stephen Hilditch, President of the Irish Rugby Football Union, believes the time is right for Ireland to host a Rugby World Cup. “Ireland has never hosted a Rugby World Cup and we believe choosing Ireland as a first-time host would be a forward-looking step for World Rugby and a signal that rugby is a truly global game for all,” he said. “We were inspired to mount this bid by New Zealand’s wonderful hosting of the 2011 tournament and believe that our ‘Global Stadium’ concept will bring a unique cultural dimension to the tournament, acting as a powerful catalyst to rugby’s worldwide growth.

“Our bid combines the operational benefits of a small but dynamic and influential island with the exciting possibilities of an unprecedented international reach for World Rugby. It is a thrilling prospect for all.”

Ireland’s RWC 2023 Bid involves a 990-page document covering every logistical aspect of staging a Rugby World Cup including:

Bid Vision

The promise of a tournament like no other, full of Irish spirit and commercial success, which will connect and engage the worldwide diaspora in support of rugby’s global development.


A full commitment from the Government of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Executive to support RWC 2023 as required by RWCL, including the payment of the Stg£120 million tournament fee.

The tournament will be a priority for the island of Ireland.

No other major international sporting event will be staged here in the years immediately surrounding RWC 2023.

A historic commitment from the GAA to make their iconic match venues available.  

Commercial Proposition

Commitments from Irish and International companies to fully support the RWC 2023 sponsorship programme and deliver unprecedented revenues to World Rugby.

An overall positive economic impact on the Island of Ireland of more than €;1.5 billion.

Match Venues

World class, iconic venues set in the hearts of cities and towns; the perfect combination to accommodate the various match capacity requirements of a Rugby World Cup, including Croke Park, the third largest sporting venue in Europe.

Packed venues for every match with millions of enthusiastic fans.

Short travel distances between host venues and training bases maximising the preparation and playing experience for all players and teams.

Visitor Welcome

Ireland is globally recognised as a major tourist destination, welcoming 10.6 million visitors in 2016.

A projected 445,000+ visitors will travel to Ireland for the tournament.

Ireland has in place all of the infrastructure including access and a range of accommodation options to comfortably accommodate all visitors to RWC 2023.

In excess of 12.2 million bed night options are available during the tournament window against a maximum number of 2.7 million bed nights actually required.

In addition, a historic agreement is in place with Ireland’s hotel industry committing to an agreed pricing mechanism.


Ireland has excellent international connectivity, with 44 million passengers passing through Ireland’s airports in 2016.

Global Network

Ireland has an unrivalled global network numbering some 70 million people in the diaspora worldwide, including circa 40 million people in North America, a key strategic market for World Rugby

Ready For The World – www.irishrugby.ie/ireland2023