Keith Wood: "Not having Scotland and Wales vote for us is dreadful"

Former Ireland captain on the disappointment of Ireland 2023 losing out in the World Cup bid

BY Raf Diallo 20:32 Wednesday 15 November 2017, 20:32 15 Nov 2017

Keith Wood ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

"Listen, we were very disappointed that Scotland and Wales didn't support us. Very disappointed indeed."

The disappointment was palpable from the words of IRFU CEO Philip Browne after World Rugby's decision to award the 2023 World Cup hosting rights to France over Ireland and South Africa.

Former Ireland captain Keith Wood also joined us on the show to share his thoughts on Ireland losing out.  

The potential that New Zealand 2011 will be the last World Cup held in a smaller nation is something that has begun to be raised. 

"Their view was that it was the last chance and possibility that they would ever have because they didn't think they could get to the point of the financial viability going into the future because things change an awful lot," said Keith of New Zealand.

"Now, if we look very, very quickly about what might happen in the next period of time. Well, it's very unlikely that we would go for the one in 2027 because it would be hugely unlikely that Europe and this side of Europe would get another World Cup immediately after the other one. That's unlikely so then what we would say is the quaint element of our stadia infrastructure which we would fill. It is probably appropriate I think for a World Cup because you don't want to see any empty seats in a World Cup game and there has been them in all the World Cups and you don't want to see them. And I think we could cater for that but it would require much large investment on our infrastructure in 10, 15, 20 years' time to go and try and do it and I don't know if we're ever in that market really." 

Keith expanded on another point in regards to criteria and knowing what was relevant at the right time.

He said: "It's tough. It's a bitter enough pill to swallow and one comment from Philip Browne, he said the criteria, they only found out those criteria after the report was done. Well, that kind of gets rid of the idea of transparency from the start. They said that everybody agreed to it but it's fine having it in conversation and you're agreeing to a sentiment. But unless that sentiment is fully followed then you don't so look, I think it's very sad actually. I would have hoped that Ireland would have got into the last two and in that instance we'd have a very good chance. I was hoping it would be Ireland ahead of France and France would be gone and I thought we would get the votes to put us ahead of South Africa." 

And on Browne's point in regards to Scotland and Wales, Keith spoke out strongly.

"Not having Scotland and Wales vote for us is dreadful and is really, really difficult to take because we keep talking about how transparent all these things are but the countries that are side by side and playing in each other's competition need to try and vote an awful lot with them and that's what happened in the southern hemisphere with Australia and New Zealand voting for South Africa because their big competition depends on the viability of all the countries that are in it," said Keith. 

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