Wonderful Piece In The Guardian Says Ireland 2023 Would ‘Capture People’s Hearts & Minds’
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No country more deserving.
The Guardian rugby union correspondent Robert Kitson has written an excellent piece today on how the 2023 Rugby World Cup must be awarded to Ireland.
The respected rugby writer was at at Aviva this past weekend for Munster’s clash with Saracens, with almost 50,000 Irish fans in attendance to cheer their famous province on. As the Fields of Athenry belted out in full volume, Kitson knew then there was only one venue for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Imagine, for a moment, it is 2023. People have had enough of politics and onrushing global warming and need something more fun to talk about than imminent Armageddon, assuming it has not already happened. What better than a Rugby World Cup, still relatively pure of heart compared with the football version held in Qatar the previous year? If ever there was a moment to showcase the sport as a force for good, this is it.
Where, then, should this feel good event ideally be held? Where will it not simply generate a few quid but create the kind of positive vibe that might make sponsors, advertisers and TV companies wonder whether rugby merits a bigger slice of their pie? Where will rugby’s most compelling virtues and off-field spirit be best illustrated?
From a seat in the Aviva Stadium over the weekend, with the Fields of Athenry being belted out at full volume, the answer felt almost too obvious. No country breeds more committed rugby supporters. For years Munster’s fans, in particular, have traversed Europe, lending colour and passion to places where such qualities are not always universal. Mix in the diehard followers of Leinster, Ulster and Connacht as well and local enthusiasm for rugby union, albeit in its provincial format, is hardly in short supply.
Kitson says there’s only one country capable of capturing people’s hearts and mind in 2023.
But step back for a moment, take a breath and ask what would capture people’s hearts and minds most in 2023: a Rugby World Cup in Ireland, France or South Africa? The answer, by a neck, is Ireland.
You can read the article in full here.