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
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.
“I have an email from one of the North American unions, who said, ‘We probably needed the money more, but we are glad our region supported you’,” Kevin Potts, head of Ireland’s bid, told The Irish Times.