Ireland's bid to host the Rugby World Cup steps up a gear

Only Ireland and Italy have never held the event

BY Robbie Dunne 18:57 Friday 2 September 2016, 18:57 2 Sep 2016

Ireland's bid to host the Rugby World Cup 2023 has moved into a key stage, as World Rugby continue to gather information about the four countries who have made their bids to host the tournament.

Of the four hopeful nations, only Ireland and Italy have never hosted the event, but Ireland did host games in 1991 and 1999. South Africa held it in 1995, while France were hosts in 2007.

A statement from World Rugby read: "The process to identify the host of one of the world's biggest sporting events kicked off last year and now moves to a key information-gathering stage on the road to confirmation of the host union by the World Rugby Council in November 2017."

The GAA will make their stadiums available to the IRFU including Croke Park, Semple Stadium and Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

Chief executive Philip Browne said the IRFU and that governments north and south of the border would expect to commit £100million to underwrite the possibility of staging the event.

"We are delighted by the strong level of serious interest from unions and governments, which truly underscores the enormous hosting appeal of Rugby World Cup as a low-investment, low-risk, high-return economic, social and sporting driver," World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said.

"Great events are built on strong partnerships and this process represents a major milestone in the planning and preparation phase for unions and supporting government agencies who intend to bid for Rugby World Cup 2023.

"We welcome further dialogue with all parties as the process progresses to the candidate phase and we continue the process to confirm our next host."

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