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Ireland will compete till final whistle for 2023 RWC, says bid chief

Ireland can still win the race to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup, the bid committee’s chairman Dick Spring said.

FILE: Ireland players. Picture: AFP.

BENGALURU - Ireland can still win the race to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup and will compete until the end despite the being ranked last in a report by the Board of the sport’s governing body, the bid committee’s chairman Dick Spring said on Thursday.

South Africa were recommended to host the tournament ahead of France and Ireland after coming top in the evaluation document commissioned by World Rugby. Some unions, including New Zealand, have indicated that they will follow the Board’s choice.

The Ireland 2023 bid committee has rebutted any suggestion that it should step aside ahead of the vote on 15 November, saying such a move would undermine the process.

“There is in place a democratic process, whereby the council members of World Rugby, through their vote, are the ultimate arbitrators of who will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup,” Spring said in a statement.

“To undermine this process in any way does a disservice to the entire structure.
“Ireland is now in dialogue with its many friends throughout world rugby and their initial response to us has been one of surprise at the evaluation report and its findings.

“As we have previously stated Ireland’s team will compete to the final whistle as we bid to turn our historic bid plans into reality.”

Ireland, who have never been the main host of the tournament before, were the bookmakers’ favourites ahead of South Africa and France before this week.

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