Rugby

Dick Spring Explains Why Scotland And Wales Did Not Vote For Ireland

Dick Spring Explains Why Scotland And Wales Did Not Vote For Ireland

The biggest disappointment for Dick Spring regarding Ireland's failure to win the honour of hosting the 2023 Rugby World Cup was the lack of support from Scotland and Wales.

Ireland received just eight votes as France won the right to host the tournament for the second time in 16 years. It's thought that Ireland's votes came from England, North America, Canada, USA and one other union. Neither of our Celtic cousins, Scotland and Wales, sent their votes Ireland's way.

"I would have thought after a century and a half of cooperation between Ireland, Scotland and Wales that we would have got their support. That is the biggest disappointment from my point of view at the end of the day," Spring told RTÉ's Drivetime.

Spring, who was chairman of the Irish bid, also explained why the Scots and Welsh voted for France and South Africa, respectively.

Scotland made it quite clear that they were going to support whoever put up the most money. They have their own financial pressures in Scotland and they are trying to maximise their take from proceedings.

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Wales voted for South Africa as a show of support for WRU chairman Gareth Davies who had been a member of the technical review group which had two weeks previously recommended South Africa as the best option to host the tournament.

Wales found themselves in a situation where Gareth Davies who is a senior official was on the sub-committee that recommended the evaluation so they felt they couldn't go against him. We were caught in the middle of a crossfire there.

Photo by Alex Broadway / World Rugby via Sportsfile

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PJ Browne
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