EARLIER this week the official campaign to win the privilege to host the rugby World Cup in Ireland in 2023 was launched.
The bid was almost universally supported across the island. That ambition would not have been possible without the generosity of the GAA, the organisation that will supply some of its stadiums should the bid be successful.
This afternoon, in Lansdowne Road, Ireland play the All Blacks. We beat them for the very first time just two weeks ago. That it is entirely plausible that we might do so again today shows how Irish rugby has advanced by insisting on ever-higher standards. If those standards are brought to bear in every detail on the preparation of that bid then there is no reason we cannot see off France and South Africa, our competitors for the role of tournament host. This afternoon’s game may have, depending on who wins of course, faded from the memory by the time the decision on 2023 is made but that the New Zealand coach Steve Hansen can suggest, even if tongue-in-cheek, that Ireland is the favourite suggests that the bid is entirely justified. But let’s win today’s game first.
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