05/12/2014

Ireland Bids For 2023 World Cup

The Irish Rugby Football Union has formally announced its intention to submit a bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup in Ireland.

The IRFU made the announcment in conjunction with the Irish government and the Northern Ireland Executive.

Speaking at this the launch at a function in The Royal School, Armagh, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: "I am delighted to formally announce the Government's support, in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Executive, to formally back the IRFU's bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

"Ireland will put together a winning bid that will be impossible to resist. We have the fans, the stadiums, and the accessibility to make it a World Cup to remember. Irish people love our sport. We are passionate about sport and we celebrate it.

"We want to share the Irish sporting experience with the world by inviting the world to Ireland. I'm absolutely confident that Ireland will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. The government will provide its full support to make it happen."

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson added: "I fully support this bid by the IRFU to bring an elite international sporting event to the home of one of the powerhouses of world rugby. It would be a tremendous achievement to see the IRFU host the Rugby World Cup 2023.

"Infrastructure is key to this bid and the Northern Ireland Executive has already invested £14.7m in the redevelopment of the home of Ulster rugby to redevelop and expand the capacity of the stadium. World class players require world class facilities and we have that at Kingspan (Stadium)."

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: "I fully endorse the IRFU bid to bring the Rugby World Cup to Ireland in 2023. Rest assured we will put together a robust and compelling bid to bring this sporting spectacle to Ireland.

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

The bid process will involve the development of a programme covering match schedules and venues, accommodation, international access, transport, communications infrastructure and community involvement.

It thought that the delivery of the bid will cost €1.5m.

The GAA has agreed it would make its venues available for the staging of matches.

The decision to appoint a host union for a Rugby World Cup will be taken by World Rugby, the international governing body for the sport. It is expected the decision on Rugby World Cup 2023 will be taken in mid 2017.

(IT/CD)

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