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Ireland launch 2023 RWC bid

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 15/11/2016 Angelo Risso

The Irish rugby union has launched its bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023 for the first time in its history.

With the World Cup-winning All Blacks in town for this weekend's Test, the union put forward on Tuesday a list of 12 potential tournament stadia, including eight Gaelic Athletic Association grounds.

It also launched an advertising campaign promoting Ireland's diversity, beauty, amiability and historical significance.

The Emerald Isle will compete with France and South Africa for the tournament.

"It's not just about having the stadia, it's about the personality of the people," Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said.

"This is a sports-mad country."

Former Test skipper Brian O'Driscoll expected Ireland, if selected, to give a warm welcome to an estimated 445,000 visitors and adopt less-fancied teams.

"It's nice to have gotten to this stage, an awful lot of work and resources have gone into putting our bid forward," the former centre said.

"It would be unrivalled by what else is available to World Rugby."

The selection process will run until November 2017, when World Rugby decide on the official tournament hosts.

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