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Ireland's Chances Of Hosting Rugby World Cup Have Received A Nice Boost Tonight

Ireland's Chances Of Hosting Rugby World Cup Have Received A Nice Boost Tonight
By Conor Neville

Ireland's bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup rumbles on in the background. It received another boost this evening with the news that the Italians have pulled the plug on their own bid.

The decision was made following a meeting with the Italian Olympic Committee. Rome is angling to host the 2024 Games. World Rugby expressed their disappointment.

While it is disappointing that the FIR feels unable to proceed, World Rugby fully understands the decision and hopes to see Italy join the process for future Rugby World Cup hosting.

Three bids remain - Ireland, South Africa and France. The winner will be announced on 1 November next year. Most bookies have installed Ireland as favourites to win the bid.

The Italians dropping out means Ireland is the only country left in the contest which hasn't held the competition on its own before. South Africa hosted the event in 1995 while the tournament was held in France in 2007 (we've been trying to banish that competition from our minds for nine years).

Ireland functioned as joint host of the 1991 Rugby World Cup, though this is a more modest claim than it sounds. The '91 World Cup was held across the four countries in Britain and Ireland and the final was played in Twickenham.

Though, Lansdowne Road did have the honour of holding the '91 semi-final between Australia and New Zealand, David Campese's finest hour and reputedly one of the best matches ever played.

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