U2 and Bob Geldof have been called up by the IRFU to help deliver the 2023 World Cup to Ireland, writes Stephen Barry.
The bid presentation delegation will travel to London on Monday, September 25 to make Ireland’s case to World Rugby armed with video support pieces from the world-renowned musicians.
While U2’s exact input has yet to be revealed, a moving rendition of WB Yates’ ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’ will be featured in a diaspora-related piece by Geldof.
“Our presentation will reflect the vision and strong commercial credentials of Ireland's proposition but also, critically, the creativity of the Irish people, which is what will make Ireland 2023 a tournament like no other,” said Bid Director Kevin Potts.
“This creative element will involve inputs from Bob Geldof, U2 and Liam Neeson, all of whom have enthusiastically supported our bid.
“The diaspora are a very important element of our proposition. We intend to demonstrate just how critical they can be in assisting Ireland and World Rugby create a global stadium of 70 million people for rugby's greatest showpiece and in ensuring the eyes of the world will be focussed on Ireland and rugby for 6 solid weeks in 2023.”
The Ireland 2023 Rugby World Cup Bid Presentation delegation will consist of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport Shane Ross, Chairman of the Ireland 2023 Oversight Board Dick Spring, IRFU chief executive Philip Browne, Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service David Sterling, IRFU President Philip Orr, bid ambassador Brian O'Driscoll, Women's Rugby captain Niamh Briggs, and Kieran Mcloughlin, Worldwide President and CEO of The Ireland Funds.
This group will be supported by a team of experts across the critical elements of Ireland's proposition including Commercial and Sponsorship, Stadiums, Logistics, Ticketing, Travel and Accommodation.
The delegation will make a 30-minute presentation, followed by a Q&A session.
Ireland’s rival bidders are France and South Africa, with the vote scheduled for November 15.