Rugby World Cup
Italy's RWC bid secures government support
February 27, 2009
Italy's bid to host the World Cup has taken a step forward © IRB
Italy's bid to host the Rugby World Cup has moved a step closer to reality after the Italian government pledged its full support to the venture.
Italy's union, Federazione Italiana Rugby (FIR), want to host the tournament in either 2015 or 2019, and a delegation from the FIR and the International Rugby Board (IRB) have spent two days discussing their plans with Italian sports minister Rocco Crimi.
"We held very positive meetings with the IRB and the Italian government," FIR president Giancarlo Dondi said. "Those discussions confirmed that we are on track with our bid to host either Rugby World Cup 2015 or 2019."
The bid organisers already have the support of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) and has now impressed Crimi with the plans.
"The Rugby World Cup is the third largest sporting event in the world. I am satisfied with the outcome of the very positive meetings and impressed by the work of the bid team," he said. The IRB have also been impressed by the Italian bid and also by the enthusiasm with which they have attacked the process. Rugby is a growing sport in Italy, with the Italy's continued involvement in the Six Nations drawing sell-out crowds.
"We were delighted with the very positive nature of the meetings with the Italian Federation and the very impressive quality of the work demonstrated by the bid team, which underlines the continued growth and strength of rugby in Italy," said IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset.
"Rugby World Cup is the world's third largest sports event and a tournament of this scale is not possible without a close co-operation between the rugby union and the government, and we were highly encouraged by the level of support pledged by the Italian government."
Government support has become a vital part of a World Cup bid, with the IRB requiring a financial guarantee of £80m for 2015 and £96m for 2019. Both South Africa and England have also been granted government backing for bids, and according to a recent independent report by Deloitte on the economic benefits of hosting a Rugby World Cup the tournament can generate up to £2.1billion in economic benefits.
The IRB are meeting all the unions who have prepared a bid before the final tender presentations are made on May 13. The IRB will announce the two successful candidates on July 28.
"If there was a cross breed of canine called an Underdogdoodle it would win best in show at Crufts." Mark Durden-Smith looks at the Aviva Premiership Final
With the Lions' tour to Australia fast-approaching, ESPN's Austin Healey and Mark Durden-Smith sat down to share their memories of the 2001 trip Down Under
Ask John answers questions on the Leopards' tour to Italy in 1974, brotherly Test sides, Pat McGrath, England's games against the Barbarians and Jacques Brunel
"We were only five metres away in the last Test of getting that try and with Jonny's inevitable conversion, we'd have won it." Tom Hamilton talks to Lions fullback Matt Perry