Today marks an important milestone in Ireland’s bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023. Each of the three candidate countries, ourselves, France and South Africa will formally submit their bid documentation to World Rugby headquarters as decision day draws closer.
Each of the three has hosted a delegation from World Rugby and each has reported that the visits went extremely well. South Africa came back into contention in recent months when the Government lifted a ban as a result of better integration policies being confirmed as now in place.
France also has improved its chances and the election of Emmanuel Macron as President will create a new ‘halo’ effect around the country. A decision on whether Paris will be awarded the 2024 Olympic Games, or have to wait until 2028, will be made on September 15th, ten days before the final bid presentations for the Rugby World Cup.
We believe that Paris winning the Olympic bid for 2024 would boost Ireland’s chances as there is unease within Rugby circles that the build up to Rugby World Cup 2019 is being impacted by the shadow of Tokyo hosting the Olympics less than a year later.
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To willingly sign up for the same again four years later is seen as unattractive by some of those with an influence on the voting for the Rugby World Cup.
With this in mind it was heartening to see reports in the Wall Street Journal suggesting that Paris would indeed be awarded the 2024 Games with LA potentially getting 2028 in a double vote on that same date of September 15th.
Nobody within the Irish bid team was willing to speculate on the potential positive impact of this rumour but hopes remain high that Ireland’s bid will win on merit.
The Irish Independent is reporting this morning that Minister Shane Ross is under pressure around the decision of the Attorney General that new legislation is required in order to make the commitments needed by Rugby World Cup in order to bring the tournament here.
This is considered however, to be a procedural matter rather than very much more and that the necessary steps are already under way.
World Rugby’s Board will make a recommendation to the World Rugby Council in October and the decision on who will host the tournament in 2023 will be announced on November 15th in London.