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Reports From France Suggest That Ireland's Rugby World Cup Bid May Not Be Nailed On Yet

Reports From France Suggest That Ireland's Rugby World Cup Bid May Not Be Nailed On Yet
By Conor Neville

To date, chatter about Ireland's 2023 Rugby World Cup bid has been coloured by the serene assumption that we are due this event. Our two rivals, France and South Africa have both held Rugby World Cups before and bookies have placed us at around 4/9 to host the competition.

South Africa last hosted the competition in 1995, their first World Cup after the nation shed their pariah status in 1992. But the South African bid is beset with problems, with the political dimension being the most troubling. The Minister for Sport Fikile Mbalula has accused South African rugby of failing to meet their own targets for the transformation of the sport and in April, moved to revoke their permission to bid for international competitions.

France, meanwhile, last held the World Cup in 2007, though most Irish supporters have attempted to wipe that experience from their mind. With the last French World Cup still relatively fresh in the memory, the assumption was that France's bid for 2023 was a touch half-assed.

But Midi Olimpique are reporting that France are "intensifying" their efforts to win the bid. Midi Olimpique's English translator, the France-based Gavin Mortimer, tells us that Bernard Laporte - the former France and Toulon coach was appointed FRF President last year - has been dining with Billy Beaumont, new sponsors have been secured, and the bid will be built around the attractiveness of Paris.

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So, the French are shaking the cobwebs off their bid and promising to give the 2023 process a right go. Whether the delegates are so bewitched by the attractiveness of Paris (he can't be talking about the area immediately surrounding Paris) that they spurn Ireland's first-time bid remains to be seen.

Read more: The 6 Most Underrated Leinster Performances In Modern History

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