Sports Minister Says ‘Calls Have Been Made’ To Help Ireland Secure RWC 2023
It’s not over yet.
Sports minister Shane Ross remains confident that Ireland can still secure the 2023 Rugby World Cup, despite World Rugby recommending South Africa in their technical review.
It’s been made very clear by both Ireland and France that they are not happy with a number of areas in the review, with South Africa’s scoring under stadia a huge concern for Ross.
He believes given recent evidence and the because of the sheer size of some of their stadiums, the lower-level games would have poor attendance should the 2023 showpiece event go to South Africa.
“I’m unhappy with the comparisons made with the South African stadia. Because the South African stadia are very, very large. And they are going to have, obviously for minor matches, they are going to have empty stadia. Whereas we will have full ones,” Mr Ross told reporters.
“I am very unhappy with the result. The Taoiseach and I are going to make further efforts as are other ministers to persuade people to vote in our favour. We’ve got a week to go and we are very optimistic we are going to make it,”
Ross says Ireland continue to make an number of important phone calls to some of the ‘”key players” involved in the selection process, in order to ensure Ireland’s bid gets over the line.
“Several phone calls have been made to people who are very very key in all this. The IRFU are obviously campaigning at the moment as well to do so. It’s a matter of persuasion. The people who have recommended it have got it wrong. We have all the facilities available and we think they could also be persuaded by this. I’m not giving up under any circumstance,” Mr Ross said.
“I haven’t made any calls at all as of now. But I’m been working with the department in getting people to make what calls are necessary,”