Here's all you need to know about Ireland's 2023 Rugby World Cup bid

We will be waiting a long time before we find out if Ireland is hosting a World Cup.

SO IT IS finally official: Ireland have launched a bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. And while it might seem a long time since that prospect was first discussed online, in print and on the radio, the reality is that it will be a good while longer before we discover if we can host the thing.

With that in mind, here are the answers to a few questions you might have about the process Ireland will now go through between now and 2023.

Are there any minimum requirements to host the World Cup?

General view of the Aviva Stadium Not every stadium needs to hold 40,000+ for a country to host a World Cup. Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

No – and that is good from an Irish perspective. New Zealand showed in 2011 that a small country can manage to host fans from 20 countries and that will count in the Irish bid’s favour.

As for stadiums, you need between 10-13 venues so Ireland would be reliant on the GAA to allow a few of their grounds to be used.

Capacities are also not an issue. In 2015, England will use two smallish club stadiums – Kingsholm and Sandy Park – while in 2011, three of New Zealand’s 12 stadiums had capacities under 20,000.

However, a capacity of 60,000 is required for both the semi-finals and the final meaning, as things stand, only Croke Park could host those games.

So the size of the stadiums Ireland might use is similar to those in New Zealand’s 2011 bid.

Who makes the decision?

After all the bids makes presentations, the Rugby World Cup Board will make a recommendation to the World Rugby Council (formerly the IRB), who then vote on the winner.

Ireland has two members on the 25-man World Rugby Council – Peter Boyle and Pat Whelan – and they will need to be at their schmooziest to win over some voters.

When will the decision be made?

The bid was announced today and everyone is pumped and jacked about hosting a World Cup… but we won’t find out for another three years if Ireland will actually host it.  The bidding process is formally opened in early 2016 and the vote will likely take place at either the May or November World Rugby Board meeting.

Both the 2011 and 2015 World Cup host nation’s were announced six years in advance, so the timeline is fairly well established at this stage.

Who are we competing against?

Rugby Union - IRB Rugby World Cup 2007 - Final - England v South Africa - Stade de France South Africa could be one of Ireland's main challengers. PA WIRE PA WIRE

There are no ‘official bids’ yet but South Africa – having been defeated in 2011, 2015 and 2019 – are strongly rumoured to be preparing a bid.

Italy were defeated by just three votes in 2015 and are expected to mount a challenge while Argentina’s legendary scrum-half Agustin Pichot – who is now a World Rugby Council member – has said he wants to bring the World Cup to his country.

Basically, Ireland will have some tough opposition.

How much will this cost?

Ireland’s bid, Enda Kenny revealed this morning, will cost in the region of €1.5 million which obviously doesn’t take into account the cost of upgrading stadiums, etc, if the bid is successful.

So, do we have a chance?

There will be a lot of strong competition but if the IRFU and the GAA can sort out a list of viable stadiums, that will be a big hurdle cleared.

Fans would be delighted, and it would bring money into the country too. Everybody wins.

– First published 10.05

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