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Why Ireland should host the RWC

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Heart or cash? That's the decision World Rugby must make with regards to which country hosts the 2023 World Cup. France, Ireland and South Africa are the countries vying to host the tournament and a council appointed by World Rugby will make its recommendation tonight NZT.

It would be unlikely that World Rugby would go against that decision when it announces the host on November 15. Japan will host the World Cup for the first time in 2019, and it's a tournament which isn't expected to raise the revenue that the last one did in England and Wales. World Rugby are notoriously concerned about the collection of revenue which might tip the odds in the favour of France, which has three stadiums that can hold crowds of more than 60,000.

France's bid has stated that it will make 40 per cent more than England 2015 — a staggering total of $500 million. Neither Ireland nor South Africa, the two emotional favourites, can compete with that as France bid head Bernard Laporte has admitted.

It is fair to say that both of those bids have an emotional element," Laporte told Telegraph Sport last week.

"All the bids have something special. That's why they are all serious bids."Our positives are the financial aspect, the quality of the stadiums, the infrastructures with the airports and TGVs, hotels too.

"It will cost nothing to the French taxpayer.

"No rises, nothing to pay. It does not cost the state anything."

France hosts the Olympics a year later, so the infrastructure will be in place, and the excellent, high-speed TGV rail system will contrive to make the big country much smaller for teams, officials and supporters.

But it is easy to imagine the tournament being played out in France without it causing much of a ripple with the local population and that's probably not something that will happen in South Africa, a rugby union stronghold which is using its watershed tournament of 1995 to pull on the heartstrings, or Ireland.

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