'I believe we'll win right to host 2023 World Cup', says Enda
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said other countries are already making enquiries about bookings in Ireland for the 2023 Rugby World Cup, strengthening his belief we will win the right to host the tournament.
Ireland is currently doing battle with South Africa and France for the chance to stage the event in seven years' time.
The IRFU has joined forces with the Government and the Northern Assembly to build a bid for the event that will cost at least €115m. World Rugby will make a decision in November of this year, and Ireland is comfortably the first of the three competing nations to map out detailed hosting plans.
Speaking at the opening of the National Indoor Arena in Abbotstown yesterday, Mr Kenny said the fact that people are already making enquiries about bookings shows "the understanding internationally of the kind of country Ireland is, and our attitude towards sport".
"I believe we'll win that right to host the 2023 World Cup and that this facility here [the National Indoor Arena], when phase two is completed, along with the IRFU centre of excellence, will complement that," he said.
Speaking about the facility, Mr Kenny and Sports Minister Shane Ross said it is hoped that another phase still to come will include a velodrome, as well as covered pitches and badminton courts.
"I'd like to think that we should be ambitious about where we go from here," Mr Kenny said before cutting the ribbon to officially open the 18,000 sq m facility.
"The Government are ambitious to continue this journey through phase two. This is the people's centre."
The indoor arena caters for athletics and gymnastics. Construction began in 2015 and the arena is designed to accommodate more than 20 sports, along with spectator, media and conference facilities.