Ireland left 'disappointed' by lack of backing from Wales and Scotland in Rugby World Cup bid
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Ireland left 'disappointed' by lack of backing from Wales and Scotland in Rugby World Cup bid

THE trusty neighbors didn't back us this time!

Ireland's Rugby World Cup 2023 bid team have said they've been left feeling 'disappointed' by the lack of support received from neighbouring countries Wales and Scotland in their bid to host the competition.

The announcement was made yesterday that France had won the bid to host the 2023 competition.

France defeated favorites South Africa, who had been recommended by the competition’s organising body to host the tournament, by 24 votes to 15 after the second round of voting. Ireland was eliminated at the first round of voting after securing just eight votes.

Irish Rugby Football Union chief executive Philip Browne, former Ireland rugby captain Brian O’ Driscoll and Minister for Transport, Tourism, and Sport, Shane Ross led the Irish team and were left feeling dejected yesterday when it was revealed Ireland came last in the voting process.

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Browne said: “Well the reality is unless you have big shiny new stadia, you have got to wonder why you would bid. I think World Rugby need to decide what sort of a tournament they want and make sure that everyone understands what their vision is at the outset.

“Then we can decide whether we are going to bid again or not. You are at a disadvantage being a new host, number one, and number two, you are at a disadvantage if you don’t have a shiny new stadium.

“We lost five and a half points because we hadn’t done the necessary upgrades to our stadia. Yet, at the same time, our government had given a financial commitment and guarantees to actually do it. So it seems like a very harsh penalty.”

Of their nearest neighbors, only England voted for Ireland, as Scotland backed France and Wales put their support behind South Africa.

Given their proximity Ireland would have been hoping for their support, but Browne admitted after that their decisions can be explained.

He said he had been told Scotland were convinced by the greater revenue France could generate, while Wales felt they must follow the recommendation of an independent review that South Africa would be the best host.

“The bottom line is we are very disappointed that Scotland and Wales didn’t vote for us. They had reasons,” said Browne. “Scotland wanted to go for the money. Wales wanted to effectively support [WRU chairman] Gareth Davies who was part of the evaluation process.

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“To be fair to Scotland, they said consistently they wanted to wait until the evaluation report was produced and they also have consistently said that they would go with the bid that produced the greatest amount of revenue for the Rugby World Cup.

“In terms of Wales, the situation was again they wanted to see what the evaluation report was like and what the outcome of that was.

“Obviously I think they felt duty bound to support Gareth Davies who was on the board of the Rugby World Cup and part of the evaluation process. I can understand where they are coming from.”

Whether or not those votes would have made a pivotal difference is doubtful when you consider the gap in the number of votes between Ireland and South Africa.

Meanwhile, people on Twitter expressed their views on a decision that caused quite a stir and raised many questions, including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar:

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