Irish Bid To Host 2023 Rugby World Cup Receives Backing From England
Ireland’s bid to stage the 2023 Rugby World Cup has "received its biggest boost yet," after England decided to lend its support to the Irish Rugby Football Union, according to O'Reilly & Ziegler of the LONDON TIMES. While the Rugby Football Union’s board "still has to ratify this decision" when it meets, two sources said that it will be backing Ireland to host the tournament, "ahead of rival bids from South Africa and France." A source from the IRFU said that the Irish bid team is "not confident of support from the Welsh or Scottish unions." At this stage, it is believed that South Africa is "just two votes short" of obtaining the 20 votes it requires to win the bid process. Should the South African Rugby Union "fall shy" of the required number in the first round of voting, then a second vote would be required. Providing Ireland finishes ahead of the French "if such a scenario were to unfold," then Ireland "would stand a chance of success," given that the French votes may be transferred Ireland’s way. A new controversy has "blown up" over the decision to recommend South Africa, rather than Ireland, as host after it was confirmed that bid inspectors did not consult Commonwealth Games execs on why they stripped Durban of the '22 event. World Rugby, which is voting on the host on Wednesday, admitted that the Commonwealth Games Federation was "not contacted to find out why it had taken the action against Durban in March." However, rugby's world governing body insisted that the necessary "due diligence" was carried out (LONDON TIMES, 11/14).