Rugby World Cup bid: Quiet deals outmanoeuvred Ireland

Inexperienced Irish bid refused to wade into murky waters and instead played by the rules

French rugby president Bernard Laporte  in London on November  15th after France is named to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Photograph:  AFP Photo/Adrian Dennis

French rugby president Bernard Laporte in London on November 15th after France is named to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Photograph: AFP Photo/Adrian Dennis

At the end of several World Cup 2023 bid presentations, in far-flung rugby outposts, the hosts would wonder aloud: “What are you going to do for us?” The lesson here is not to confuse sport with politics. France secured the votes in ways the Irish delegation did not know how.

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