THE Northern Ireland Executive is committed to delivering a “compelling” bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup, the First Minister has said.
Despite ongoing difficulties around the redevelopment of Casement Park – a proposed venue for the event – Stormont ministers have reaffirmed their desire to see Ireland host the sporting spectacle.
Arlene Foster said: “The Northern Ireland Executive is fully committed to providing all the necessary support required by the bid team to ensure the delivery of a compelling, world class bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.”
The comments were made as members of the bid’s oversight board, including former Tanaiste Dick Spring and Irish rugby international Brian O’Driscoll – one of the world’s most capped international players – visited Belfast’s Kingspan Stadium, another proposed venue for some fixtures.
Also at the meeting was Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, who said everyone must “go the extra mile” to secure success.
“A Rugby World Cup in Ireland would prove to be a hugely attractive destination for rugby supporters from throughout the world and we would relish the opportunity to welcome them to one of the world’s major sports gatherings, the Rugby World Cup, in 2023,” he said.
“I am confident, with the co-operation already in evidence between both governments, sporting bodies and the general public, Ireland would deliver a hugely successful tournament for World Rugby.”
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