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Ireland signals backing for Rugby World Cup bid
ESPN Staff
January 23, 2014
Lansdowne Road bathed in the Dublin sunshine, Ireland training session, Lansdowne Road, Dublin, Ireland, March 18, 2011
Aviva Stadium would feature prominently in the proposed bid © Getty Images
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Government ministers from both sides of the Irish border have signalled they will back an all-Ireland bid to host Rugby World Cup 2023.

Northern Ireland executive sports minister Caral Ni Chuilin and tourism minister Arlene Foster held talks with their Republic of Ireland counterparts, Leo Varadkar and Michael Ring, and the quartet formed a working group that will report to both governments in a few months, with ministers then deciding whether to back a bid.

"The island of Ireland has a lot to offer the global rugby family and there would be a lot of benefits to be gained by hosting such a prestigious event," Ni Chuilin said.

"The executive is investing £110 million in upgrading stadia in Belfast, which includes the redevelopment of Ravenhill. While we would have world-class venues to host the Rugby World Cup, there is a lot of work required to get us into a position to make a successful bid."

Varadkar said: "It's still very early days, but the four of us believe that Ireland has what it takes to host a cracking World Cup."

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."

© AAP
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