By Shane McNamara
It was confirmed on Tuesday that Ireland is one of the final three candidates to host the Rugby World Cup 2023.
World Rugby announced that Ireland alongside South Africa and France are potential hosts for World Rugby’s biggest tournament in seven years’ time.
Former Tanaiste Dick Spring, Chairman of Ireland’s Rugby World Cup 2023 Bid Oversight Board, paid tribute to the work which has gone into the bid so far as well as underlining what needs to be done in order to secure the tournament.
He acknowledged various sporting organisations both in the north and south as well as the public for their support thus far.
Former Munster and Ireland rugby player Spring also stated that he remained ‘convinced that Ireland can mount a winning bid’.
Hosting Rugby World Cup 2023 could provide a huge economic boost nationwide. England welcomed upwards of 28,000 new jobs as well as over £1 billion brought in to the economy throughout the course of the World Cup last year.
The tournament usually runs from September through to October so this could mean tourism, especially in the west, could experience an extended summer period in terms of the volume of people.
Limerick’s Thomond Park is playing a huge part in Ireland’s bid and it is guaranteed that the purpose built rugby stadium will play host to some big games should Ireland’s bid win out.
With Semple Stadium, Thurles marked as another host for games, there is room for Limerick city and the east part of the county to provide an outlet for the increased number of visitors.
Things could have been even better for Limerick as the Gaelic Grounds was originally included as one of the 12 stadiums named in Ireland’s bid, but it was ultimately replaced by Celtic Park in Derry at the last minute.