Though nobody would dare to say as much or even dream it, yesterday’s bid pitches to host the Rugby World Cup could not have gone much better.
The Irish team hit their marks with Leo Varadkar making a spectacular opening line break by revealing that Theresa May had given her official backing to Ireland’s bid.
That compares to a French bid whose President Emmanuel Macron, once part of the pitch team, ran far from it today, not even recording a video message of support.
Indeed as forecast yesterday on Sport for Business, it may be that South Africa will yet emerge as the biggest threat.
Speaking after their pitch South Africa Rugby President Jurie Roux was very bullish saying “We were asked to provide a minimum guarantee of £120m but with unqualified support from our government we are offering an extra £40m.”
“We were asked to provide eight venues, the smallest of which must have a minimum capacity of 15 000, but we offer eight venues – purpose built for rugby and requiring no upgrading – with the smallest one offering a fully seated capacity of 43 500.”
“And we will host the largest-ever Rugby World Cup final with 87 436 fans at the National Stadium in Johannesburg.”
“Our stadia allow us to place more tickets on sale than ever before; a South African Rugby World Cup would make available 2.9m seats – 400 000 more than the highly successful England 2015 tournament.”
There were marked differences in how the betting markets viewed the likely winner with Paddy Power quoting a Ireland as short as 4/11 but rivals Ladbrokes offering Even Money and only 2/1 against South Africa
We will know the winner on November 15th. Fingers crossed.
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Image Credits TG4