Bids for the 2023 Rugby World Cup from Ireland, France and South Africa all pledged “the best tournament ever,” with all nations using state-of-the-art stadiums as one of the main selling points.
Points of difference needed to be found in other areas after all three bidding hosts declared large monetary profits through financial security and guaranteed revenue would be gained, as well as top-quality stadiums and minimal travel.
Ireland have been deemed the favourites, just ahead of South Africa, which hosted the tournament in 1995. France, which hosted the event in 2007, was the underdog ahead of Monday’s presentations in London.
The Irish bid has been lifted through the change in status of the previously unavailable Gaelic sports stadiums, highlighted by Dublin’s 82,000-capacity Croke Park (pictured).
Ireland is bidding for sole rights to what would be the biggest sporting event in the country since it hosted matches during the 1991 and 1999 World Cups, which were mainly held in England and Wales.
Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was in London and said: ”I wouldn’t have missed this for the world. This bid represents the hopes and aspirations of the entire island of Ireland.”
The host nation will be announced on November 15, following the World Cup board’s recommendation on October 31.
Image: John H. Nolan