22/01/2014

Ministers To Meet Northern Counterparts To Discuss Rugby World Cup Bid

The Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring are to met two Northern Ireland government ministers to discuss Ireland's bid to host Rugby World Cup bid in 2023.

The two TDs have agreed to establish a working group alongside the north's Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure, Carál Ní Chuilín, and Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster.

The group will develop a strategy for presenting a formal bid and is expected to report back to their respective governments within a few months.

In a statement about the new working group, Minister Varadkar said: "Minister Ring and I were delighted to meet with Ministers Foster and Ní Chuilín to discuss the possibility of making a formal bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. It was a very useful meeting and we have now agreed to set up a Working Group to draw up the road map for our bid. It’s still very early days, but the four of us believe that Ireland has what it takes to host a cracking World Cup."

Minister Ring said: "An event of this scale will not only have a great benefit for rugby but will also raise the profile of what sport can do for the country. We all witnessed the massive boost to the national mood that was provided by the London Olympics. The Rugby World Cup is probably the largest event we could ever host on our own on the island and I would hope it would have a similar impact here. Sport is a great unifier, it brings people together and large events like this can also bring about a great sense of pride."

(MH/IT)

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