The IRFU has revealed more details regarding their bid, outlining potential venues and anticipated tourism and financial benefits as they battle with South Africa and France for the chance to stage the World Cup in seven years’ time.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny, NI Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Chairman of Ireland’s RWC 2023 Bid Oversight Board Dick Spring and bid ambassador Brian O’Driscoll were all on hand to unveil the plans, while Hollywood actor Liam Neeson narrated the promotional video.
The IRFU says that the co-operation of the GAA has been a key factor in the proposal, with the Association making no fewer than eight stadia available.
Croke Park, Nowlan Park, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Fitzgerald Stadium, Pearse Stadium, McHale Park, Casement Park and Celtic Park are among the 12 potential venues currently on Ireland’s list, but this will be reduced to eight or 10 for the tournament staging.
Thomond Park, the RDS, Kingspan Stadium and the Aviva Stadium are the other four stadia included on the bid.
Today marked the formal entry into the ‘Candidate’ phase of selection where it is projected that the tournament would be worth more than €800m to the Irish economy, with more than 445,000 visitors expected to flock to the country.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for Ireland to host one of the world’s biggest sporting events and we intend to ensure Ireland’s proposition will be world class and compelling,” chairman Spring said.
“We believe Ireland is ready to stage a Rugby World Cup like no other. A tournament that will capture the imagination of the world.
“A festival of rugby that will be full of Irish people’s unique spirit and an event that will help rugby to reach new audiences throughout the world.”
“We want to bring the world to Ireland”
The Taoiseach emphasised Ireland’s unrivalled international reputation and insisted the country is ready for such a huge sporting undertaking.
“For many years our sporting ambassadors have travelled the world bringing colour, passion and friendship to sporting events everywhere.
“Now we want to bring the world to Ireland.”
World Rugby will decide on the successful candidate in November 2017.