U2 and Bob Geldof get behind Ireland's World Cup bid ahead of final vote

Each candidate will make their final presentation to World Rugby next week.

Ireland's bid includes contributions from Bono and U2 among others.
Ireland's bid includes contributions from Bono and U2 among others.
Image: Liewig Christian/ABACA

THE IRISH FOOTBALL Rugby Union (IRFU) will present its final bid to stage the 2023 World Cup to World Rugby officials in London next week as the battle to host the tournament reaches a climax.

The Irish delegation will be spearheaded by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross, chairman of the bid oversight board Dick Spring, IRFU chief executive Philip Browne, bid ambassador Brian O’Driscoll and current Ireland women’s captain Niamh Briggs.

Ireland are vying to stage the 2023 edition of the tournament with France and South Africa, with all three bidders given 30 minutes to present their case and make a formal presentation to World Rugby delegates on Monday 25 September.

A vote involving the constituent unions and associations of World Rugby will then take place and a final decision on the host country for the tournament will be announced on 15 November.

In addition to the presence of the head of government, the IRFU’s presentation will also contain contributions from U2, Bob Geldof and Liam Neeson among others as every effort is made to get Ireland’s bid over the line.

Also in attendance will be a team of experts across the critical elements of Ireland’s proposition including commercial and sponsorship, stadiums, logistics, ticketing and travel and accommodation.

Brian O'Driscoll and Shane Ross Ireland officially submitted their bid in June. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Speaking ahead of the defining day in the bidding process, Kevin Potts, IRFU chief operating officer and 2023 bid director, said:

“The quality of presenters assembled by Ireland reflects the enormous strength and depth of our bid and the level of support and co-operation the bid has enjoyed throughout from Governments, businesses and communities.

“Our presentation will reflect the vision and strong commercial credentials of Ireland’s proposition but also, critically, the creativity of the Irish people, which is what will make Ireland 2023 a tournament like no other. This creative element will involve inputs from Bob Geldof, U2 and Liam Neeson, all of whom have enthusiastically supported our bid.

“The diaspora are a very important element of our proposition. We intend to demonstrate just how critical they can be in assisting Ireland and World Rugby create a global stadium of 70 million people for rugby’s greatest showpiece and in ensuring the eyes of the world will be focussed on Ireland and rugby for 6 solid weeks in 2023.

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“We have spent more than 4 years assembling a world class bid and we are now very much looking forward to presenting a truly exciting and compelling vision, full of Irish spirit, to the Council on 25 September.”

Ireland has previously hosted World Cup games in 1991 and 1999 but has never won the right to stage it outright, while France hosted the 2007 edition and South Africa the 1995 tournament.

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