Monday 27 February 2017

Explained: Why Semple Stadium didn't make the cut for Ireland's Rugby World Cup bid

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The decision to omit Semple Stadium from the list of venues included in Ireland's 2023 Rugby World Cup bid has sparked a big reaction in the county, with local politicians calling it 'incomprehensible'.

Fianna Fail's Jackie Cahill and Labour's Alan Kelly have both voiced their displeasure at the decision, but bid chairman Dick Spring - a former Labour TD himself - has today explained the reasons for not including the Thurles ground.

Speaking on Today with Sean O'Rourke, Spring said that 'transport problems' took Semple Stadium out of consideration.

"An expert team came in from Rugby World and they made their assessment and they just felt that the transport problems in particular I think in relation to Thurles, was a prohibitor of Thurles being in the final list.

“Ultimately it will be Rugby World that will pick all the venues. We’re offering the venues that we feel are the best venues to work but they’ll make their decision."

The stadia included in the bid are the Aviva Stadium, the RDS, Thomond Park, Ravenhill, Croke Park, Pairc Ui Chaoimh (Cork), Casement Park (Belfast), Fitzgerald Stadium (Kerry), Pearse Stadium (Galway), McHale Park (Mayo), Nolwlan Park (Kilkenny) and Celtic Park (Derry).

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