Ireland’s strongest opponents for the right to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup may be South Africa.
The 1995 hosts have long been known to hold an interest in welcoming world rugby’s showpiece event to their shores once again, particularly as the last time was such a huge success.
Ireland’s intention to make a proposal to the IRB looks increasingly probable, with the Irish cabinet having approved the plans being championed by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar.
The IRB will not make a decision on the host nation for the 2023 World Cup until 2017, but that hasn’t stopped several nations from promoting their virtues at this early stage. Apart from Ireland and South Africa, there is understood to be interest in both France and the US.
Oregan Hoskins, the President of the South African Rugby Union, has told the Irish Examiner that he is confident of success in his nation’s bid to host the tournament.
From a South African perspective there is great interest in terms of wanting to bid for that process in 2023. We have been trying to get the World Cup in South Africa a number of times (after failed bids for the 2011, 2015 and 2019 tournaments) so hopefully this time we will be lucky.
“From a staff point of view 2014 has been mentioned as the optimum time in terms of when the wheels will start turning to get that process off the ground. It will be interesting to see how many countries put up their hands.
“It is fantastic we have a healthy interest in it. It shows how important the product is, as the Rugby World Cup is the third most commercially successful brand. We saw in 1995 the effect it had on society, and I was lucky enough to be a part of the World Cup in 2010 and attended a number of the games.
“It will be of huge benefit to any country that is given the 2023 World Cup.”