It looks like Ireland's bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup could face another big challenge. After Ireland confirmed it's intention to bid for the global rugby showpiece, a series of expected challengers also announced their ambitions to host the tournament.
Those included Argentina, Italy, and South Africa. But it looks like there could be another superpower entering the race, with Midi Olympique reporting this morning that France are also interested in hosting the tournament.
— Marco (@classixnouveaux) April 17, 2015
Both France and South Africa have hosted the tournament before, with South Africa in 1995, and France quite recently in 2007. It might be a bit soon for a return visit to France for the tournament, but 2007 remains as the most profitable tournament yet for World Rugby, and they may be tempted to revisit.
France also have the advantage of ready made stadiums that have already proven the ability to host tournaments of this scale. But the bid will be centred on several new stadiums already in construction.
Midi also suggest that despite some concerns and the strength of other bids, that Ireland are expected to provide the biggest challenge to France's hopes of hosting the tournament.
It is worth noting though, that no official intention to bid has come from France, but the FFR have held discussions about entering a bid in time for the tendering process in late 2016. Midi says that an announcement on France's interest to bring the tournament back to their shores is expected.