Losing the Rugby World Cup bid


Sir, – Senator Terry Leyden’s colourful brewery metaphor in the Seanad on the organisational skills of the IRFU and its failure to secure the Rugby World Cup for Ireland badly misses the point.

What Mr Leyden failed to understand was that, even after putting in the hard yards, the IRFU was never going to get over the game line due to the fact that the playing pitch was not level, in that it was never going to be able to match the huge sums which the French, in their bid to host the tournament, had put on the table. – Yours, etc,



Co Meath.

A chara, – The IRFU’s reaction to two of our nearest neighbours deciding to back bids other than our own for the 2023 Rugby World Cup provides a worrying insight into Irish assumptions regarding appointments, elections, and procurement.

Have we become so culturally conditioned by local politics that we assume this is, and should be, the norm the world over? Should the candidate from this parish or the next always be given first preference as a matter of course?

What is worse in this case is the assumption that the Welsh and the Scots were motivated by alternative clientelist criteria which won out over our own. Thus, the IRFU chief executive, quoted in Gerry Thornley’s front-page article (November 16th), accuses Scotland of going “for the money” and Wales of backing their man at the helm of the World Rugby Board.

A more charitable assessment would have it that Scotland supported the bid that was of greatest financial benefit to international rugby overall, while Wales opted for the candidate that had won the independent technical review. Rather than decrying the process, perhaps we should learn from it and strive for higher standards.– Is mise,


Clár Chlainne Mhuiris,

Co Mhaigh Eo.