Ireland have officially lodged a bid to host the 2023 World Cup alongside France, Italy and South Africa.
The four unions involved submitted their bid applications ahead of Thursday’s deadline, World Rugby has confirmed.
Ireland, along with their three bid rivals, completed their bid questionnaire, outlining detailed information regarding key criteria for hosting the event.
A statement from World Rugby read: “The process to identify the host of one of the world’s biggest sporting events kicked off last year and now moves to a key information-gathering stage on the road to confirmation of the host union by the World Rugby Council in November 2017.”
“The applicant submissions will now be evaluated by a World Rugby Technical Review Group.
“The outcomes of the evaluation will be independently assessed to ensure a fair and consistent approach. Applicants that meet the criteria outlined will move to the candidate phase on 1 November, 2016. The Rugby World Cup 2023 host will be selected in November 2017.”
Of the four nations hoping to stage the tournament in seven years time, only Ireland and Italy have never previously been hosts. South Africa held it in 1995 and France in 2007.
Applicants that meet the criteria for evaluation will move to the candidate phase on 1 November before the successful bid is announced in November 2017.
The applicant submissions are to be evaluated by a World Rugby technical review group and the outcome of the evaluation will then be independently assessed to ensure a fair and consistent approach.
The Irish Rugby Football Union confirmed in 2014 they were putting together an all-Ireland bid to stage the tournament, revealing that their plans would be underpinned by the Northern Ireland Executive and Irish Government.
“We are delighted by the strong level of serious interest from unions and governments, which truly underscores the enormous hosting appeal of Rugby World Cup as a low-investment, low-risk, high-return economic, social and sporting driver,” World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said.
“Great events are built on strong partnerships and this process represents a major milestone in the planning and preparation phase for unions and supporting government agencies who intend to bid for Rugby World Cup 2023.
“We welcome further dialogue with all parties as the process progresses to the candidate phase and we continue the process to confirm our next host.”
GAA grounds such as Croke Park are to be part of the IRFU’s world cup bid and games will be staged at the Association’s venues if the it is successful.
The next World Cup in 2019 is being held in Japan.