The Ireland team bidding to host Rugby World Cup 2023 delivered a powerful presentation to the World Rugby representatives in London today and promised to deliver a 'Tournament Like No Other'
Limerick City will wait patiently for the decision on the bid to be made with Thomond Park pencilled in as a potential venue for a Pool stage of the tournament.
The delegation was headed by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD, together with Shane Ross TD, Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport; Dick Spring, Chairman, Ireland 2023 Oversight Board; Philip Browne, Chief Executive, IRFU; David Sterling, Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, Philip Orr, President, IRFU; Brian O'Driscoll, Ireland's Bid Ambassador; Niamh Briggs, Captain, Irish Women's Rugby Team and Kieran McLoughlin, Worldwide President and CEO of The Ireland Funds.
Commenting following the presentation, Leo Varadkar TD, Taoiseach, said:
"This bid represents the hopes and aspirations of the entire Island of Ireland and is focused firmly on the future of rugby and our communities.
"It presents World Rugby with a compelling proposition, that combines all the advantages of a traditional Rugby market with the many opportunities of a new territory.
"Ireland is a modern and changing nation, with the youngest population and fastest-growing economy in Europe. An island of peace and prosperity, with a new-found self-confidence about our place in the world.
"This bid is grounded in certainty, through the unparalleled support of Ireland's jurisdictions north and south, and the traditions of the IRFU. Its success will be our total focus and will carry the support of Ireland's 70 million strong diaspora.
"The 2023 Rugby World Cup will be a national priority.”
Brian O'Driscoll, Bid Ambassador said: "Ireland 2023 will truly be a "Tournament Like No Other” and central to this will be our focus on the players. We have put enormous time, energy and experience into looking at the demands a modern Rugby World Cup makes on players and teams.
This starts with world-class facilities and services. Facilities that put the players front and centre, allowing every player the opportunity to perform to his absolute potential. This is the players' opportunity to shine and Ireland will ensure they can live their dream.”
In addition to the live contributions, the fast-moving presentation to World Rugby contained video support pieces featuring:
● U2 and Bono at their Croke Park concert this summer promoting Ireland as the perfect host for RWC 2023.
● Bob Geldof, with a moving rendition of the WB Yeats poem 'Lake Isle of Innisfree', relating the power of the Irish diaspora to impact upon the growth of rugby throughout the world.
● Liam Neeson's video, 'Ireland – Ready for the World' specially produced in support of Ireland's 2023 bid.
● Niamh Briggs's highlighting Irish people's infectious enthusiasm and capacity to deliver on a world stage.