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Ireland sets aside €1.5m war chest for Rugby World Cup bid

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A €1.5m (£1.3m, US$1.7m) fund has been earmarked by the governments of Ireland and Northern Ireland as the nations prepare to bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) has also allocated money towards the fund for the 2015-2017 bidding period, while a bid team has been assembled to coordinate the push.

In addition, the bid process will be overseen by an Oversight Board, which includes former Ireland internationals Brian O’Driscoll and Dick Spring, IRFU chief executive Philip Browne and GAA director general Paraic Duffy, among others.

If the bid is successful, the tournament will be hosted across Northern and Southern Ireland.

A statement within Ireland’s Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport 2015 annual report said hosting the Rugby World Cup would be “beneficially” for both nations in terms of visitor numbers and the “political dimension of an all-Ireland tournament”.

“The tourism potential is all the greater as it generally takes place in Ireland’s shoulder season for overseas tourism (between late-September and October). A successful bid for the Rugby World Cup will also have the dual advantage of promoting sport and tourism.”

Ireland will compete with France, Italy and South Africa to host the tournament, with the winning bid set to be announced in May 2017.

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A €1.5m (£1.3m, US$1.7m) fund has been earmarked by the governments of Ireland and Northern Ireland as the nations prepare to bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
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An all-Ireland tournament will 'be very beneficially in terms of its political dimension' / Mitch Gunn/Shutterstock.com