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Despite having the third-best bid, the government isn't giving up on the Rugby World Cup

A government spokesperson said it is “not going down without a fight” adding it will “fight until the very end to get this bid”.

The William Webb Ellis Cup during the opening Rugby World Cup match at Twickenham Stadium in 2015.
The William Webb Ellis Cup during the opening Rugby World Cup match at Twickenham Stadium in 2015.
Image: David Davies/AP

THE GOVERNMENT HAS reiterated its support for the IRFU’s bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

An independent report last week served as a massive blow to Ireland’s bid to host the tournament.

World Rugby last week published the findings of the technical review group, with Ireland third in the rankings behind France and South Africa.

The final decision on whether Ireland, France or South Africa will be the destination of the 2023 tournament will be made by a World Rugby Council vote in London on 15 November.

PastedImage-52394 How the bids were scored.

However, the government today reaffirmed its “absolute commitment” to Ireland’s bid.

“The government continues to believe that Ireland is the best choice for hosting RWC 2023 and is deserving of the support of the voters on the World Rugby Council.

“Along with the Irish Rugby Football Union, and the bid oversight board, the government will continue to make the case for the Irish bid until the final vote takes place on 15 November.

“The government has been informed by the bid oversight board that the IRFU have reservations about a number of important aspects of the evaluation report. These concerns will be pursued by the IRFU with its counterparts in World Rugby.”

It’s understood that efforts are underway at a diplomatic level and within the IRFU, to get Ireland’s bid over the line.

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A government spokesperson said it is “not going down without a fight” adding it will “fight until the very end to get this bid”.

Ireland’s bid is a cross-border venture with Belfast venues Kingspan Stadium, Casement Park and Derry’s Celtic Park on the proposed list of venues alongside the likes of Aviva Stadium, Croke Park and Thomond Park.

The Irish bid is prepared to pay €136 million as the minimum tournament hosting fee and has attempted to signal the tapping of the American market to bridge the difference to the €181 million on offer up front from South Africa and the €170 million put forward by France.

With reporting from Christina Finn at Leinster House.

Read: Blow for Ireland as report recommends South Africa for 2023 Rugby World Cup

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