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Rugby World Cup: Ireland confirmed in the running to host 2023 event

Ireland will be compete with South Africa and France to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

After Italy withdrew from the running last week, World Rugby announced on Tuesday that the unions of Ireland, France and South Africa had amply demonstrated that they could meet key criteria critical to a successful bid.

Reacting to the news, Dick Spring, the Chairman of Ireland's RWC 2023 Bid Oversight Board, welcomed the development.

“We very much welcome the formal announcement from World Rugby that Ireland's application to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023 has progressed to the final phase.”

World Rugby will officially open the final bidding on November 1.

"We are delighted by the strong level of serious interest from unions and governments, which is clearly reflected in three strong and impressive applications," World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said.

"I would like to congratulate the unions for successfully progressing to candidate status and we welcome further dialogue with all parties as momentum builds towards the selection for the host."

While Ireland has shared hosting duties for the tournament in 1991 and 1999, the country has never done so exclusively.

Conversely, South Africa were hosts in 1995, when they won the William Web Ellis trophy, while France staged the 2007 edition.

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