Friday 18 August 2017

'No hiccups' in Rugby World Cup bid, insists Ross

Bid Ambassador Brian O’Driscoll and Shane Ross. Photo: Inpho
Bid Ambassador Brian O’Driscoll and Shane Ross. Photo: Inpho

Robin Schiller

Sport Minister Shane Ross has said there is "no hiccup" to Ireland's 2023 Rugby World Cup submission despite emergency legislation being needed to support the bid.

The Attorney General advised that emergency measures would be required to ensure certain Government guarantees, which Mr Ross said are needed by the end of July.

He was speaking yesterday as a committee officially submitted Ireland's bid to host the tournament.

"We have got to go through it all in the next few weeks but I'm absolutely confident that it will be fine. It's got to go through the Dáil by the end of July.

Left: Ireland coach Joe Schmidt with children at the launch yesterday. Photo: Inpho
Left: Ireland coach Joe Schmidt with children at the launch yesterday. Photo: Inpho

"We want to make sure that we are absolutely certain. We got the advice off the Attorney General to make sure we're absolutely 100pc certain that all of the guarantees were underwritten properly by legislation," the Sports Minister said.

"Primary legislation we have to go through as a precautionary measure because we just want to be certain of it.

"There's absolutely no panic at all, none whatsoever. It's got all parties' support and it's going to be done and dusted and debated fully," Mr Ross added.

He also said Brexit should not have any implications on the bid, stating it was a "north/south" bid and "Brexit neutral".

More than 100 children from a variety of schools and rugby clubs joined the RWC 2023 bid team, including chairman Dick Spring and ambassador Brian O'Driscoll, as they made their way to the World Rugby headquarters in Dublin yesterday morning.

A 2023-branded, open-top bus carrying a choir also made the short journey from the Aviva Stadium to Pembroke Street with the help of a Garda escort.

Mr Spring said there were no security concerns should the tournament take place in Ireland.

"Security, Ireland has little or no worries in that respect and in fact we are very fortunate in that respect and that's the way it should be," Mr Spring said.

Former Ireland captain O'Driscoll said "no stone has been left unturned".

"I think we've put our best foot forward in showing the best of the country, in showing everything that we offer and how a rugby world cup in Ireland would be unique and we feel it would supersede anything that has gone previously," the former Leinster star said.

The bid team was joined at the official submission by current Irish players as well as head coach Joe Schmidt.

Irish Independent

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