WATCH - IRFU release stirring video on our iconic stadiums as part of their bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup
The IRFU have released a new video as part of their push to beat off competition from France and South Africa to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
World Rugby's Technical Review group landed in Ireland on an intensive two-day fact-finding mission yesterday and have met President Michael D Higgins, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, officials from government agencies on both sides of the border as well as a host of Irish sports stars.
The group visited Croke Park and were taken on a tour of the venue by Bid Ambassador Brian O'Driscoll and Dublin football legend Bernard Brogan, both of whom, together with Paul O'Connell and former Irish Captain Philip Mathews narrated a video on Ireland's iconic stadiums.
Watch the stirring video below:
The tour included a brief hurling clinic for the Group on the hallowed Turf by 10 times All -Ireland senior hurling winner Henry Shefflin.
They attended the Aviva Stadium today and were welcomed by Ireland's Senior, Under 20's and Women's Team Captains, Rory Best, Jack Kelly and Niamh Briggs respectively.
Commenting on the programme Dick Spring, Chairman, Ireland's RWC 2023 Oversight Board said: "I must compliment our Bid Director Kevin Potts and his team for a phenomenally powerful programme over the past two days. I have consistently stated that our objective, first and foremost, is to deliver a world class bid on behalf of the people of Ireland.
"Having witnessed the quality, depth and professionalism of the 12 separate presentation modules delivered I can confidently state that Ireland's bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup is truly world class.
"Our credentials are compelling across the key areas for the tournament including commercial success, government support, iconic Stadiums, ticket sales, security, tourism infrastructure and, most importantly, public support from every corner of the Island and the Global Irish Community.
"We can take nothing for granted, in rugby parlance the game has just kicked off, there is still an enormous body of work to be done, if we are to succeed in winning this enormous prize for Ireland. The efforts of all involved will continue to reflect this right through to the final whistle on November 15th."
IRFU chief executive Philip Browne emphasised the research driven approach to the bid: "Our bid is, and has to be, based on hard facts. The Feasability Study we conducted some 3 years ago, with the Governments, indicated strongly that Ireland could successfully host a Rugby World Cup. All our research since then shows conclusively that this is the situation and it is around such research that we continue to build Ireland's case.
"We are confident that Ireland 2023 will be a tournament like no other, with rugby at the heart of it, full of Irish spirit and commercial success.
"In addition we believe the fact that Ireland has not previously hosted a Rugby World Cup is a positive dimension to our bid. It would, if successful, inspire and encourage other Rugby Unions throughout the world with aspirations to bid in the future, just as we were inspired by New Zealand's success in hosting the tournament in 2011.
"Furthermore, Ireland, as a first time host, would enhance the true global nature of Rugby in the eyes of the international commercial and sporting world and support the ambition of growing the game across the globe."
They visited South Africa last week and will travel to France next week as the process of establishing which bid is strongest continues.
The decision on who will win the right to host the tournament will be taken in November.