Ireland step ahead in 2023 race
NEWS: Ireland on Tuesday formally announced their entry into the 'Candidate' phase of the selection process to determine the host for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Ireland are competing with France and South Africa for the right to host the 10th edition of the Rugby World Cup.
A 90-second video 'Ready for the World' was produced to encapsulate the spirit and theme of the Irish bid and it will be distributed internationally through a host of social media channels. Actor Liam Neeson voluntarily gave of his time to narrate piece.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for Ireland to host one of the world's biggest sporting events and we intend to ensure Ireland's proposition will be world class and compelling," said the Chairman of Ireland's Rugby W0rld Cup 2023 Bid Oversight Board Dick Spring.
"We believe Ireland is ready to stage a Rugby World Cup like no other. A tournament that will capture the imagination of the world. A festival of rugby that will be full of Irish people's unique spirit and an event that will help rugby to reach new audiences throughout the world.
"Our entire bid team has been inspired to even greater heights by the Irish team's heroic victories in recent weeks over the All Blacks and Canada. We need this inspiration, for while the prize is indeed great, the competition is fierce and we will need to draw on every creative and determined fibre of our collective being if we are to succeed."
Prime Minister Enda Kenny believes Ireland has an unrivalled international reputation and welcoming approach when he stated: "For many years our sporting ambassadors have travelled the world bringing colour, passion and friendship to sporting events everywhere.
"Now we want to bring the world to Ireland. We want the world to experience this colour, this passion, this friendship - here at home, with us. Ireland is waiting with open arms to welcome rugby fans from all over the world, to make Rugby World Cup 2023 the event of a lifetime, to deliver lifelong memories on and off the pitch. Ireland is ready for the World."
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness highlighted Ireland's experience of hosting major sporting events
"The 2023 Rugby World Cup bid is a bid for all the people of Ireland and the Executive will make every effort to make it a winning bid. We have a proven track record of hosting major global events including the G8, Giro d'Italia, MTV Music Awards, the World Police and Fire Games, the Clipper around the World Yacht Race and the Irish Open Golf Championship.
"This is a collective effort and I commend the GAA [Gaelic Athletic Association] for placing its grounds at the disposal of the tournament, a key factor in Ireland's ability to bid for the tournament.
"It is estimated some 445 000 are predicted to travel to Ireland for the tournament, so it would be of immense benefit to the economy. Worldwide TV audiences for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England reached some 4 Billion people which offers global exposure money simply can't buy."
The bid has the backing of both Governments, through the provision of financial, infrastructural and services supports.
In addition, the GAA has placed its grounds at the disposal of the tournament, a key factor in Ireland's ability to bid for the tournament. Currently, there are 12 potential venues on Ireland's 'Long List', ultimately reducing to eight to 10 venues for the tournament staging.
The selection process will run from now until November 2017, when World Rugby will decide on the successful candidate to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. During that period a detailed technical evaluation of the candidates will take place, with final proposals being submitted in June and a presentation to World Rugby scheduled for October.