Connacht Star Sees One Problem With Ireland’s RWC 2023 Bid
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The 12 stadiums included in Ireland’s Rugby World Cup 2023 bid have been officially revealed.
Eight GAA grounds form the bulk of the list alongside famous rugby stadia including Ireland’s national ground, the Stadium (Dublin) along with Thomond Park (Limerick), Ravenhill (Belfast) and the RDS (Dublin).
Croke Park (Dublin), Pairc Ui Chaoimh (Cork), Casement Park (Belfast), Fitzgerald Stadium (Kerry), Pearse Stadium (Galway), McHale Park (Mayo), Nowlan Park (Kilkenny) and Celtic Park (Derry) are all part of the Board’s proposal.
If the bid is successful, not all stadiums will be selected. Rugby World Cup figures will select either eight or ten from that twelve nominated by the Irish bid.
One notable omission from the list is Connacht’s stadium, the Sportsground. The other three province’s have representation, with Connacht the only one to not have their stadium on the list.
Connacht captain John Muldoon spoke out on Twitter yesterday, making his disappoint known.
Would be great to see Ireland host a World Cup outright on our own, but sad to see the home of Connacht rugby isn’t included #sportsground
The Sportsground currently doesn’t meet criteria, Rugby World Cup grounds must have a minimum capacity of 15,000, and the westerners home can currently only hold around 8,100 people. With Pearse Stadium in Salthill meeting the criteria and also not very far away, it instead got the nod
Muldoon however, believes the Sportsground could be developed, with Connacht renting Pearse Stadium during the renovations:
Pay the GAA money to rent Pearse, or invest in upgrading one of your 4 pillars who need upgrading.
Does Muldoon have a point? Should the IRFU have taken this opportunity to upgrade the Sportsground and have representation from all four provinces?