Ireland, France and South Africa pitch for 2023 World Cup

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For every Irishman and woman at home, there are 12 or more overseas, a total of 70 million Irish diaspora in their adopted countries who are ready to come together for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Tomorrow could prove to be a very big day in the history of Irish sport as a delegation from Ireland's bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup head to London to make a final presentation to the World Rugby Council.

"A key part of our vision is to support the growth of rugby worldwide - by using the Rugby World Cup in Ireland to connect with the wonderful support of the Irish diaspora worldwide, particularly some 40 million in North America alone", he said.

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar travels to London to meet the British Prime Minister Theresa May today.

South Africa had their vice-president Cyril Ramaphosa and the 1995 and 2007 World Cup-winning captains Francois Pienaar and John Smit in their delegation.

"100% confident and having lived here for a year, I think it would be an unbelievable place to hold a World Cup", he said.

"Our bid is fully backed by the government".

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Following the presentation Mr Varadkar said that the bid represented the hopes and aspirations of the entire island of Ireland. Whereas Leo Varadkar is willing to hitch himself to any potentially successful bid, French president Emmanuel Macron has refused to record a video in support of the bid, reneging on an original plan to do so. "In 1995, the Rugby World Cup cemented the bonds between our diverse people".

"When I look now at Ireland's bid, you've got the government, the IRFU, the GAA, the country".

Commenting on the bid Varadkar said, "We have the infrastructure, we have fabulous stadiums, we have the best fans".

So far they have accounted for 2.2 million tickets, and budgeted for selling 2 million.

Two weeks' later, in London on November 15, the World Rugby Council will reveal the winning bid.

The country is no stranger to global sporting events after successfully hosting the 2010 football World Cup.

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