Sunday 15 September 2019

IRFU submit 990-page bid document to host Rugby World Cup 'like no other' in 2023

In attendance at the hand in of the IRFU Rugby bid submission for the 2023 Rugby World Cup are, from left, Bid ambassador Brian O’Driscoll, Brett Gosper, CEO, World Rugby, bid Kid Alex Place, Alan Gilpin, Head of Rugby World Cup, Ireland 2023 Oversight Board member Dick Spring, Sports Minister Shane Ross T.D., and Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt. Dublin, Ireland. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
In attendance at the hand in of the IRFU Rugby bid submission for the 2023 Rugby World Cup are, from left, Bid ambassador Brian O’Driscoll, Brett Gosper, CEO, World Rugby, bid Kid Alex Place, Alan Gilpin, Head of Rugby World Cup, Ireland 2023 Oversight Board member Dick Spring, Sports Minister Shane Ross T.D., and Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt. Dublin, Ireland. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

IRELAND has officially submitted its bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup with Sport Minister Shane Ross saying the Irish have a "very, very good chance" of hosting the tournament.

Over 100 children from a variety of schools and rugby clubs joined the RWC 2023 Bid team including Chairman Dick Spring and Ambassador Brian O'Driscoll as they made their way to the World Rugby headquarters in Dublin this morning.

A 2023 branded open top bus carrying a choir also made the short journey, from the Aviva Stadium to Pembroke Street, with the help of a garda escort.

Speaking at the Rugby World HQ this afternoon, Minister Ross said that Ireland had a "very, very good chance" of winning the rights to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

"I met the people from World Rugby and they were really impressed, and we have a very good chance, a very, very good chance. We're favourites of second favourites," Mr Ross said.

Submissions have already been made by organisations representing the South African and French world cup bids.

Former Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll said that he would be "envious" of not being able to play a world cup in his own country but added that it would be "sweet, sweet" for Ireland's bid to be accepted.

"No stone has been left unturned. We are well passed the days of coming runner-up and being happy with a good performance, now it's about success and attaining things and I just feel the uniqueness of the welcome that people get here, with the competitiveness of our team, how sport mad our whole country is, all of that lends itself well to being able to host a world cup," he said.

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He also ruled out taking up a managerial role for the tournament, saying: "I can pretty much confirm I won't be on any coaching ticket. You know I am enjoying what I am doing now and I'm glad to be able to lend a hand in this role but I think that would be as far as it stretches."

If successful the Irish government will pay a tournament fee of £120m, while Minister Ross said there were "no concerns" about emergency legislation being sought to ensure guarantees from the Government.

His comments come after Independent.ie revealed that the Sports Minister wrote a letter to the Oireachtas stating that he received advice from the Attorney General saying that emergency legislation would be required to support Ireland's bid to host the tournament.

"We have got to go through it all in the next few weeks but I'm absolutely confident that it will be fine, it's got to go through the Dail by the end of July.

"No there's absolutely no panic at all, none whatsoever. It's got all parties support and it's going to be done and dusted and debated fully," Mr Ross said.

"Nobody is in anyway worried about it or concerned. Everybody is behind it. None whatsoever there's no hiccup," he added.

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