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Ireland's 2023 Rugby World Cup bid could end up costing £120m

By Tom Rooney

If Ireland is to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup, it will be expected to table a bid of up to £120m, almost twice the fee paid by New Zealand in 2011.

Former Ireland full-back Hugo MacNeill, who is the chair of Ireland's Rugby World Cup working group, has said the price for staging the tournament has steadily increased since the turn of the decade.

Along with France, Italy and South Africa, Ireland is being considered by the Rugby World Cup body as potential hosts for the third largest sporting event on the planet and, according to MacNeill, the ability to pay the requisite sum is vital.

"If you look at how it's gone in the last few years, it was £66m to New Zealand in 2011, it was £80m for England this year and it was £96m to Japan in 2019. And so, if you keep going in that trajectory, you're looking at £120m," MacNeill explained.

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However, the 1983 Lion pointed out that recent research showed that England could see up to £2billion come back into its economy.

"If you work out the impact, it was over £2bn," he said. "Now, England is a completely different case, but we're very confident because they are big numbers."

Aside from the monetary requirements, Ireland must also show that it possesses the infrastructure to support such an undertaking while presenting a unique cultural selling point.

Applications must be submitted in February 2017. Then, World Cup chiefs will go through an evaluation process, at the end of which it might recommend a candidate to voting nations. The following July, the successful country will be announced.

Belfast Telegraph


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