Confusion reigned in Ireland’s RBS Six Nations match in February as France took to the field wearing a jersey with “FRANCE 2023” emblazoned across the front. “What’s all that about?” was sent into WhatsApp groups up and down the country. What it was was a missed tricked from the IRFU. The message was a marketing ploy from France’s bid team in charge of getting the Rugby World Cup there in 6 years time and they had struck a blow on our patch.
This June sees the deadline for the submission of bids and this November will see the announcement of the host. Ireland are seeking to host their first major national sporting event since the Special Olympics in 2003 and here is what you need to know about it.
The 2023 Rugby World Cup will take place in the autumn of that year. At present, the only three serious bids are Ireland, France and South Africa and the South African bid is under severe threat due to internal politics regarding racial quotas in team selection. Ireland is one of the few elite rugby nations capable of hosting a World Cup independently that has not already done so. While we have hosted some matches in our time, we have never been completely handed the reins and it feels like our time has come.
The bid is helped in no small part by the GAA’s decision to allow it stadia be used for the tournament.
The above photo illustrates just how well dispersed the venues would also be, with travelling fans being given the opportunity to see every corner of the Emerald Isle if they so wish.
Two reports published by EY following the World Cup in England in 2015 found that the tournament generated £2.3 billion for the economy, supported 41,000 jobs and contributed £982 million to the nation’s GDP. Whether you like rugby or not, getting behind this bid is an absolute no-brainer.