Thursday 21 September 2017

With 300,000 visitors expected, we need a big push to get rugby world cup 2023 here

Mike Phillips celebrates around a dejected Paul O'Connell, Mike Ross and Cian Healy 8/10/2011...2011 Rugby World Cup Quarter-Final, Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand 8/10/2011
Mike Phillips celebrates around a dejected Paul O'Connell, Mike Ross and Cian Healy 8/10/2011...2011 Rugby World Cup Quarter-Final, Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand 8/10/2011
Sport, Rugby Union, pic: 21st March 1987, 5 Nations Championship in Dublin, Ireland 13 v France 19, Hugo MacNeill, Ireland full back, on the attack (Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images)

Eoghan O Neachtain

Avid rugby fans will shed a tear or two as this rugby season comes to a close with the forthcoming Rabo Pro 12 final. Our senior international players will then prepare for their summer trip to Argentina, our under-20s will head to New Zealand, and the ladies to France for their respective rugby world cup competitions.

It is timely for us to consider the power of the global rugby brotherhood, not just in terms of its contribution to sport, but also for the financial rewards it has delivered in the past and its potential for Ireland in the future.

Despite its detractors, the success of last year's Gathering has surprised many and is something we could build on. Remember, we rightly rejoiced at the additional visitors to our shores last year – not to mention the €170m boost to our economy.

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