Thomond Park, one of 12 venues nominated as part of Ireland's 2023 Rugby World Cup bid
THERE was disappointment for Limerick’s hopes of hosting fixtures in the 2023 Rugby World Cup this Tuesday as the findings of the technical review group published this morning recommended South Africa’s bid to host the event.
Ireland, South Africa and France are in the running to host the 2023 tournament and while a final decision will not be made until November 15, after the World Rugby council votes, the expectation is that today's publication which favoured South Africa’s bid should be decisive.
Limerick’s Thomond Park is one of 12 venues being considered to stage games as part of Ireland's bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
The technical review group - made up of a 20-plus strong panel - assessed and scored each of the bids on five criteria.
In descending order of importance, they were: finance and tournament guarantees; venues and host cities; tournament infrastructure; vision and concept, and tournament organisation and schedule.
From the above criteria, South Africa ranked highest with 78.97%, France second with 75.88% and Ireland third with 72.25%.
It is projected that the tournament would be worth upwards of €800 million to the economy of the island of Ireland.
Ireland has vowed to ‘compete to the final whistle’, adding ‘nothing in the report is insurmountable’.
Dick Spring, chairman of Ireland's 2023 bid oversight board, said the country still has confidence the council members will "place their trust in Ireland" come the vote.
"We absolutely believe Ireland can secure the tournament for 2023," he said. "It is clear that the evaluation commission is impressed by the quality and detail of the bid put forward on behalf of Ireland.
"It is also clear from the report that Ireland has all the capabilities to host an outstanding Rugby World Cup in 2023.
"Our team will compete to the final whistle as we bid to turn our historic bid plans into reality."