French Rugby Union not impressed with IRFU's post-match hospitality

Both Unions are vying to host the 2023 World Cup

French Rugby Union not impressed with IRFU's post-match hospitality

France 2023 was on the French jerseys in Dublin. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Colm O'Neill

The battle to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup intensified over the weekend.

Ireland, France and South Africa are all vying to host the tournament, with the two European sides deemed the front-runners ahead of the Autumn vote.

Last Saturday, Ireland and France met for the last time before the vote, with the French team promoting their bid wearing #France2023 on the jerseys.

A report in Midi-Olympique on Monday claimed that the French Rugby Federation (FFR) hierarchy were not happy with their post-match treatment. In the article, FFR Secretary General Christian Dullin claimed the treatment of the FFR by IRFU officials at a post-match banquet was like "us hosting other Unions at the snack bars under the stands at the Stade de France". Dullin also claimed it was the first time such a protocol was used by the IRFU. 

The report also claimed that French fans got wet during the game, despite the Aviva Stadium roof covering a significant majority of fans in the stadium.

Speaking the The Pat Kenny Show, Cormac Byrne from the Irish Independent said the report in the influential newspaper may have something to do with the upcoming bid for the 2023 World Cup.

"It appears to be very strategic. There's something not quite right with [the report]. The press area is well into the stand. It's only the first few row at the Aviva that you have any chance of getting some precipitation on... They are clearly speaking about Ireland's ability to host the 2023 World Cup."

"It just came so out of the blue. The IRFU have been completely taken aback. They're baffled by this. It appears to be strategic... Since the turn of the year, the French have really ramped up their efforts to be successful in their bidding process... It looks like desperation tactics."

The decision will be made on who hosts the 2023 event later this year.

The Pat Kenny Show asked the IRFU for comment on the article. The IRFU responded, stating; "we are not undertaking any interviews in relation to this."