Brian O’Driscoll Says World Rugby Not Awarding Ireland 2023 RWC A ‘Missed Opportunity’
Ready for the world.
Brian O’Driscoll reckons not handing Ireland the 2023 Rugby World Cup is a missed opportunity for World Rugby. The former Ireland, Lions and Leinster centre played an integral role on Ireland’s bid committee, and still feels they should have won the bid.
Speaking to ESPN, O’Driscoll says Ireland would have “showcased something that the world hasn’t seen before.”
“There are a couple of feelings,” O’Driscoll told ESPN.
“You can always pull something apart in the aftermath, and hindsight allows you a different perspective but we did put together our best possible bid.
“It wasn’t felt as though it was good enough by the council members and you have to accept that. We couldn’t magic our stadia, which really hurt us in the report. We couldn’t magic them being built, that was always going to be a work in progress but we were shown as a viable option to host a World Cup.”
“I look back on an awful lot learnt and a missed opportunity for us but a missed opportunity for World Rugby as well. Because I think we would have showcased something that the world hasn’t seen before.”
In terms of bidding again, O’Driscoll says right now that’s unthinkable. He did however say he would gladly get involved again if Ireland decided to bid in the future.
“At the moment it’s unthinkable to throw yourself back into it,” he said.
“Would I have the appetite for having a World Cup in Ireland again? Yes. Would I be involved as a result? Of course I would. But, you know, the thought of doing it any time soon, I’m not in that head space and I don’t think anyone at the IRFU [Irish Rugby Football Union] is.
“There hasn’t been even a mention of four years, eight years, 12 years, we’re back licking our wounds and we’ll regather and I’m sure a number of different factors will have to change if we are to have another go at it.”