IRB chief excited by Irish bid

Ireland’s bid to host the 2023 World Cup has been given a huge boost after IRB chief executive Brett Gosper described the country as “a wonderful candidate”.

Sports Minister Leo Varadkar announced on Monday he was exploring the possibility of hosting the tournament.

The tournament would be worth an estimated €800m to the economy and with bids due to be officially submitted by 2016, the Irish candidacy has been encouraged by the IRB, who are based in Dublin.

“There is no question that it’s exciting for us at the IRB and Rugby World Cup to have Ireland on that candidate list,” said Gosper.

“They would be a wonderful candidate, and there are a lot of reasons why they’d be a very strong contender — this is a rugby nation with a strong tradition. They have a great infrastructure in terms of stadiums, and as Leo is also the Transport Minister, he is saying how good the transport is and he also talked about all the hotels that have been built. It’s very exciting for Ireland and ourselves.”

And Seb Coe, who masterminded the 2012 London Olympic Games has told Ireland they must consider why they want to bid before looking at the process itself.

Coe said: “There are always two questions everyone asks in any organisation — how and why? Everyone answers ‘how’ first. I don’t dismiss that, it’s a complicated process, but it’s to go off too early.

“You need to be able to demonstrate, particularly to local communities, why you are doing this. The most demanding and important group are local people.

“Twenty or 30 years ago, it was enough to say ‘we will stage a great sporting event and bring the best rugby players to a particular country’. People get that but now they want to know what you’ll do with the stadium — what’s the legacy for the sport? If you’re going to get more kids playing sport, then how? The ‘why’ is the vision. The vision doesn’t win you the rights to stage the event, the ‘why’ is what you deliver.”


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