Saturday 25 May 2019

Ireland bid to stage 2023 Rugby World Cup 'making a lot of progress'

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Irish rugby legend Brian O'Driscoll at the Rugby World Cup 2023 Oversight Board Meeting in September
Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Irish rugby legend Brian O'Driscoll at the Rugby World Cup 2023 Oversight Board Meeting in September

Kevin Doyle, Group Political Editor

IRELAND’S bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023 is “making a lot of progress”, Sports Minster Paschal Donohoe has said.

He updated the Cabinet today on the project which will see the Government make a formal application to host the tournament next May.

Ireland is up against what Mr Donohoe described as “other good competitors” in the form of France, Italy and South Africa.

But he said that “our message to countries and rugby organisations all over the world will be that Ireland has the infrastructure, is accessible for travelling supporters and is in a good timezone”.

The minister also said the fact that it is a joint bid between the Republic and Northern Ireland would help our cause.

The Northern Ireland Executive and the Oireachtas have both put working groups in place which will feed back to an oversight committee that is chaired by former Tánaiste and ex-rugby international Dick Spring.

“Ireland would be able to deliver a wonderful Rugby World Cup in 2023,” Mr Donohoe said.

“The next 18 months will be crucial in us putting together the bid and hopefully being successful.”

Asked whether he was concerned about possible delays in making all the necessary stadiums ready, he replied: “I am confident that we will be able to deal with all planning applications and developments in relations to stadiums all over the country, between now and 2023.

“Were we to be successful in winning this bid, I am certain that we would have the infrastructure in place, sporting and otherwise, to deliver a wonderful experience to anybody who would come to our country.”

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