IRFU Confirm All-Ireland Bid For 2023 Rugby World Cup

December 5, 2014

The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) has officially announced an all-Ireland bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup will be submitted.

Both the Northern Ireland Executive and the Irish Government have given their support and backed the bid.

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson said: “Northern Ireland has demonstrated that whatever the event, whatever the occasion, we deliver.

“Regardless of whether it is cycling, golf, the World Police and Fire Games and now rugby, I have no doubt that this will be a resounding success both on and off the field.”

The Ireland rugby union team consists of both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland players, and the relevant people from both countries have been weighing up the possibility of hosting the tournament together over the past 10 months to decide whether to submit an official bid.

“This would involve teams coming to Ireland weeks in advance for training camps, providing a major boost to the tourism industry and that’s before the supporters from across the world descend,” said Deputy First Minster Martin McGuinness.

“In 2007 the Rugby World Cup broadcast in over 200 countries and attracted a television audience of 4.2bn so the potential audience is huge.”

Ireland and Northern Ireland both boast impressive rugby facilities to stage a major tournament.

Traditional rugby stadiums such as the Aviva stadium in Dublin, the Kingspan at Ravenhill in Belfast and Thomond Park in Limerick can be used to stage games but with a potential World Cup, Ireland would look to also utilise Gaelic football venues in the country such as the 82,300 capacity Croke Park in Dublin.

The 2015 Rugby World Cup will be hosted in England, with Japan hosting the following event in 2019.

IRFU chief executive Philip Browne believes that Ireland would be great hosts for the 2023 edition.

“Stretching back to the Union’s formation in 1879, and right throughout the modern era, Irish rugby has supplied a series of inspirational players and administrators to the international game,” he said.

“We believe it is opportune for us now to put forward Ireland’s undoubted credentials to host world rugby’s showpiece.”

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