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Published: 15:49 | 4/10/16

Ireland one of three in running for 2023 World Cup


Ireland, France and South Africa remain in the running to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

World Rugby has officially ratified all three bids after each union demonstrated their ability to meet key criteria critical to a viable bid.

The Italian Rugby Federation formally withdrew from the process last week after failing to win the support of their government.

The candidate process officially opens on November 1, and the Rugby World Cup 2023 host union will be selected by the World Rugby Council in November 2017.

"We are delighted by the strong level of serious interest from unions and governments, which is clearly reflected in three strong and impressive applications," World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said.

"I would like to congratulate the unions for successfully progressing to candidate status and we welcome further dialogue with all parties as momentum builds towards the selection of the Rugby World Cup 2023 host."

South Africa and France have previously hosted the Rugby World Cup, while Ireland hosted pool fixtures, quarter-finals and a semi-final.

Commenting on the news that Ireland's bid has been ratified, Dick Spring, Chairman of Ireland’s RWC 2023 Bid Oversight Board, commented: "We very much welcome the formal announcement from World Rugby that Ireland's application to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023 has progressed to the final phase.

"We note that World Rugby will officially open the final process on November 1 and we look forward to detailing Ireland's approach to this final phase of the process in the weeks following that announcement.

"Significant work has already been undertaken in the preparation of Ireland's bid and this will continue apace as we enter this next phase.

"Given the level of support to date from all quarters including Governments, North and South, sporting organisations, in particular the GAA, and indeed the general public, I remain convinced that Ireland can mount a winning bid for what is one of the great occasions on the world sporting calendar."

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