19 Nov 2013

Ireland consider rugby World Cup bid

12:08 pm on 19 November 2013

Ireland is considering a bid to host the 2023 rugby World Cup.

The ambitious effort would result in games being played on both sides of the Irish border as unlike football, the national team is an all-Ireland selection.

Ireland has been mulling the idea for over a year, looking to replicate the successful hosting by similarly populated New Zealand in 2011, and minister Leo Varadkar says he'll seek approval from cabinet colleagues this week.

South Africa, hosts of the hugely symbolic 1995 rugby World Cup and 2010 football World Cup, have also indicated that they plan to make a bid. France, hosts as recently as 2007, have also expressed an interest in the 2023 edition.

Dublin has been working with the Northern Ireland executive on the proposal and also has the backing of Ireland's Gaelic Athletic Association, meaning it can use stadiums like the 82,300-capacity Croke Park.

Alongside Croke Park, there are another 10 Gaelic grounds as big or bigger than the second-largest rugby stadium in the country, Munster's Thomond Park, although many will need major renovation to stage an international tournament.