Rugby World Cup bid chairman to be announced tomorrow

Working group will decide whether Government or IRFU bid for 2023 competition

 London’s Olympic Stadium, which has been confirmed as one of 13 venues for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/PA

London’s Olympic Stadium, which has been confirmed as one of 13 venues for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/PA

Tue, Feb 18, 2014, 15:36

The appointment of a chairman to run a committee on the planning of a joint North/South bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup will be announced tomorrow, the Dáil has heard.

Minister of State for Sport Michael Ring said the committee will hold its first meeting next Tuesday, February 25th to establish a “road map” to plan the application.

Mr Ring said they would have to consider issues such as whether to establish a company to handle the bid, whether the IRFU or the Governments of Ireland and Northern Ireland should make the bid.

He said they also had to consider the level of funding from North and South. Mr Ring also thanked the GAA for making their facilities available for the application as without the organisation’s grounds, the bid could not go ahead.

He told Fine Gael TD Eoghan Murphy that a chairman “of stature” and with business interests had agreed to lead the working party.

A North-South meeting will be held tomorrow and Mr Ring said that in deference to the Northern Ireland Government the new chair would be announced then.

Mr Murphy said it was important when putting in a bid “that we invest the appropriate time and money in the bid akin to ...hosting the Olympics. Will the Minister make additional funding available for hosting the rugby world cup?”

The Minister said the Government was delighted to be able to keep funding intact through the Sports Council and “rugby got its fair share of the national cake”. The working group will consider funding requirements and will report to the two Governments in the summer.

Fine Gael’s John O’Mahony asked what organisations would be represented on the working group and if it would include people from other countries who had made bids in the past.

The Minister said the Northern and Southern Governments would be represented along with the three tourism agencies, and two IRFU representatives.