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Foster and McGuinness welcome announcement that Ireland’s Rugby World Cup 2023 bid is through to candidate stage

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First Minister, Rt. Hon. Arlene Foster MLA, and deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness MLA have welcomed the announcement from World Rugby that Ireland’s Rugby World Cup 2023 bid is through to the final Candidate Phase of the Host Selection process.

World Rugby has confirmed France, Ireland and South Africa as Rugby World Cup 2023 host candidates.

First Minister, Arlene Foster said: “The Northern Ireland Executive is a strong supporter of the 2023 Rugby World Cup and it is excellent news we are now through to the next phase of the process. The potential to host the Rugby World Cup 2023 presents a fantastic opportunity to showcase our excellent rugby talent, magnificent facilities and legendary hospitality to rugby fans across the world. Northern Ireland has what it takes to host world class events and the Executive will continue to work hard to bring this great sporting event here in 2023.

The deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, said: “I congratulate all of those involved in helping  reach the next  phase in hosting RWC 2023. South Africa and France are formidable opponents, however, I believe the partnership between sport organisations, Government and local businesses can provide a winning combination in ensuring a successful event. I am certain everyone here will get behind the Ireland bid and look forward next year when the final decision on who will host RWC 2023 is made in November 2017.

Economy Minister, Simon Hamilton MLA added: “It is tremendous news we are through to the Candidate Phase  of hosting The Rugby World Cup. The Rugby World Cup 2015 was the most commercially successful event to date and with large numbers of travelling fans and spectators the opportunity to host RWC 2023 would provide a major boost for local businesses, the tourism industry and the Northern Ireland economy as a whole.”

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