Sunday 18 August 2019

World Cup snub a reminder that money talks

Ireland 2023 bid ambassador Brian O’Driscoll, IRFU President Philip Orr and IRFU chief executive Philip Browne react to the host union announcement. Photo: Sportsfile
Ireland 2023 bid ambassador Brian O’Driscoll, IRFU President Philip Orr and IRFU chief executive Philip Browne react to the host union announcement. Photo: Sportsfile

Noel Mannion

The more you look at Ireland's Rugby World Cup bid, the more you wonder were we right to put our name forward at all, writes Noel Mannion.

Now that the wheels have fallen off, everyone is an expert. Maybe we were a bit complacent to assume we were in with a chance, but hindsight is a great thing too.

When we said we were going for it there was none of us criticising the bid. No-one said the stadiums weren't up to it. We're all experts now, but I didn't hear anyone saying we were stupid and that we weren't ready.

My view is that once money is involved in any way in a bid, it has to be compromised. We were never going to be able to match the budgets of South Africa and France, and the reality of it is that votes will follow the money.

No matter what we did, someone was going to outbid us and I think that was the main reason we lost out. The stadiums and other issues were not major stumbling blocks - all of that could have been managed.

It's hard to see how we could win it with a solo bid in the future, but maybe a joint bid with the likes of Scotland and Wales could be the way to go down the line.

When the game went professional in 1995 you had to take all the problems that came with the money, and this sort of result is one of them. Big money talks.

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