Government support key to World Cup bid, says Beaumont

Lions legend Bill Beaumont said that full Government support and strong partnerships with the GAA and other sporting bodies will be the key to a successful IRFU bid to stage the Rugby World Cup in 2023.

Beaumont, chairman of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) which hosts the tournament next year, said that they learned key lessons from the time they started their bidding process.

He has been a member of the International Rugby Board (IRB) since 1999 and revealed that mounting a bid or hosting the tournament will not work unless the government of the country is 100% behind the venture.

It was announced yesterday at the IRB World Cup Conference in London that next year’s tournament will generate £2.2bn (€2.7bn) of output into the economy, which will add up to £982m (€1.2bn) of value to the national GDP.

Beaumont, speaking at the event which attracted over 600 delegates from all over the world, said that the Rugby World Cup had grown enormously even in the time since England decided to launch a bid to host it.

“The one thing we learned was that you have to get government support behind you, there is no doubt about it,” Beaumont said.

“And I think you also have to engage with and make partners from other sports because you need other stadia.

“Ireland is not dissimilar to England and we don’t have that many rugby stadia which are capable of holding more than 20-25,000 people. You have to have stadia which have far greater capacities.

“I have no doubt that is what they will be doing and that would be my advice but you have got to keep very close to the government because in most instances they help in the guarantee of what the IRB want,” said Beaumont.

He added that the RWC will continue to grow and by 2023 or beyond will be vastly different to what will take place next year.

“You just don’t realise how big it is. It is the third biggest global event. We are used to big events but you just don’t realise the scale of what this is worldwide and in eight or nine years time it is going to be even bigger. It is growing all the time and that has to be taken into account,” added Beaumont.

Next year’s tournament will be the biggest in history when it takes place over 44 days at 13 venues.

Around £85m (€106m) has been invested in infrastructure, including a £7m (€8.7m) redevelopment of Twickenham Stadium, which will host the final on October 31 next year.

There will be 2.3m tickets on sale for the 48 matches, ranging in price from £7 (€8.70) to £715 (€893) — the top price ticket for the final — with four times more people set to attend the games than were at the inaugural tournament in 1987 in New Zealand and Australia.


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