Ireland’s hopes of hosting the 2023 Rugby World Cup have been given a boost with Transport, Tourism and Sport Minister Leo Varadkar pledging his support.
However, the Irish hopes hinge on the GAA granting permission for its stadiums to be used for rugby. The GAA’s Annual Congress takes place in Derry at the end of the month and there will be a vote to pass the motion.
Any potential World Cup bid would involve the use of 12 stadiums, North and South of the border, and Mr. Varadkar has pledged his support. The Transport Minister will speak with his cabinet colleagues in order to see how much money is available to upgrade stadium facilities throughout Ireland.
During a meeting with IRFU officials earlier this week, Mr. Varadkar was given a copy of a feasibility study into hosting the Rugby World Cup. The meeting was successful and a spokesman for the minister confirmed Mr. Varadkar’s approval.
The minister will now need a guarantee from the government worth €125 million, so as to cover any losses suffered during the potential running of the tournament.
Upgrades will need to take place in stadiums such as Cork’s Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Tipperary’s Semple Stadium and Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney. However, newer stadiums such as Croke Park, the Aviva Stadium and Thomond Park will not require any upgrades.
The potential World Cup bid is good news for Irish rugby fans, during what has been a difficult period in recent weeks.