IRELAND look all set for a bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup after politicians both sides of the border reiterated their support for the campaign.
A meeting of Ireland’s Rugby World Cup 2023 oversight board took place on Wednesday, with Taoiseach Enda Kenny among those taking a positive stance on the prospect of hosting one of sport's elite events.
He said: "The Rugby World Cup is one of the world's major sporting events and winning the right to host it involves an extremely competitive process which will demand extraordinary effort, focus and ingenuity by the entire island if we are to be successful.
"I have no doubt that we can deliver on the requirements to make a Rugby World Cup in Ireland a hugely attractive, fun destination for rugby supporters from throughout the world, with matches hosted across a unique combination of modern, yet wonderfully atmospheric stadia."
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe also attended the meeting, as well as Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring and Northern Ireland Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment Jonathan Bell.
Minister Bell insisted there’s every reason to believe Ireland can stage a successful cross-border event in eight years’ time.
He said: "Both my department and I will do all we can to provide the necessary assistance in developing a successful winning bid.
"Our supporters consistently set records for attendance at matches and undoubtedly the staging of the Rugby World Cup 2023 would draw visitors and supporters from around the world.
“I am confident working together we can stage a spectacular, world-class sporting tournament."