Ireland would be a magnificent host of the 2023 World Cup. Might be a bit of a Guinness blur but the craic would be grand, by Sports writer for NZHerald
France, too, would make a fabulous job of it, using all of their Gallic charm, eccentricities and culinary delights to make it six weeks to remember.
Both would deliver a bucket-load of cash for World Rugby. Especially France, but the Irish bid has a surprising number of match tickets to sell as they are using a number of GAA grounds that have 40,000-plus seats.
World Rugby has the luxury of choice. Always a good thing. But it does of course have a third option, which is South Africa.
The infrastructure is all there after hosting the 2010 Football World Cup, but while there are big stadiums and a big population, there’s no guarantee locals will go to games. Low wages and high prices are never a good mix.
Security is a rising concern, although whether South Africa is a greater risk than France is debatable, but still, there’s a perception perhaps that fans will need to take extra care which is never a great selling point.
And yet despite the volatility and lack of stability, perceived or real, South Africa is absolutely where the 2023 World Cup should be held.
Forget the economics, the politics, the sponsors, the time zones, the broadcast implications and whatever else the money men endless fret about.
Deciding a World Cup host shouldn’t be a cold, clinical exercise made on the back of a handful of grey men and women pouring over spreadsheets and giving their view on the numbers.