Monday 18 March 2019

French media are reporting some bad news for Ireland's bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup

Brian O'Driscoll and Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the bid launch last November. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Brian O'Driscoll and Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the bid launch last November. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ireland are the short-priced favourites to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup but one of our rivals are really stepping up their efforts to nab it from us.

French rugby magazine Midi Olympique are reporting that the French rugby union (FFR) have been making plenty of behind-the-scenes manoeuvres to overtake us in the race to hist rugby's blue riband event in six years time.

They are 'intensifying' their efforts and Midi Olimpique's English translator, the France-based Gavin Mortimer, has revealed that new FRF President Bernard Laporte had dinner with World Rugby chief Bill Beaumont where he explained that France would secure new sponsors and the bid would be built around the 'attractiveness' of Paris.

France last hosted the tournament in 2007. South Africa, who hosted the event in 1995, are the other contenders.

In the end, it's a numbers game. Top tier teams such as England, Wales and New Zealand have three votes each, while second tier teams such as the US, Canada and Mexico have just one vote. If Ireland is to be successful, the scoreline will need to read 19 votes to Ireland, out of a total of 37 votes cast.

The voting will take place this November, with the three nations bidding for the event abstaining. It is a secret ballot and the winner is whichever nation is first-past-the-post. If there is no winner after round one, the country with the least votes will be eliminated.

Ireland will be heavily courting the North American vote and will visit the United States for a second time in June.

In other news, Midi Olympique are also reporting that former Ireland international Donncha O'Callaghan could be set to join French side Narbonne.

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