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Dublin: 16 °C Wednesday 21 August, 2019

A huge majority of Irish people are in favour of Ireland's bid for the Rugby World Cup

A new poll puts support at above 90%.

Ireland's Cian Healy and Johnny Sexton celebrate after beating England at the Aviva Stadium.
Ireland's Cian Healy and Johnny Sexton celebrate after beating England at the Aviva Stadium.
Image: Brian Lawless/PA Images

THERE IS OVERWHELMING support for Ireland’s bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023.

A decision on the showcase event will be made on 15 November but Ireland has been employing its big guns to ensure nothing is left to chance.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar joined rugby great Brian O’Driscoll in London on Monday as part of the push for the bid with even UK Prime Minister Theresa May backing Ireland’s efforts.

Now a new poll suggests that the public is in favour of all this effort.

The Amárach poll for Claire Byrne Live found that 90% of people support Ireland’s bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Just 7% of people said they were against the bid while 3% said they didn’t know.

That support was consistent across different age groups, genders and across the regions, with people in Munster (92%) most enthusiastic about the bid.

Under the conditions of the bid, the government needs to underwrite the cost of the tournament and pay a tournament fee of £120 million (€137 million) to the tournament company.

This tournament fee would be recouped should the tournament make a profit.

“The current projection is that the tournament will make a substantial surplus,” Minister for Sport Shane Ross told the Dáil in July.

Some of the cost of the tournament fee is to be borne by the Northern Ireland Executive. Three of the stadiums hosting games are in Northern Ireland.

The government has also committed to paying for other tournament costs, such as the upgrade of stadia, with that cost estimated to be €200 million.

In order to pitch the bid, emergency legislation had to be passed to allow the government to commit to an outlay of €320 million.

Speaking in the Dáil, Ross said it is estimated that the tournament would draw “450,000 visitors who would spend approximately €760 million”.

“Based on Fáilte Ireland estimates, this would provide a return to the Exchequer of €138 million,” Ross told the house.

Read: ‘Ireland’s ability to host is second to none. It would be an unbelievable place to have a World Cup’ >

Read: U2 and Bob Geldof get behind Ireland’s World Cup bid ahead of final vote >

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Rónán Duffy

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