Rugby World Cup: Ireland launch bid for 2023 tournament
Ireland formally launched their bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup in Dublin.
Dick Spring, the bid's oversight board chairman, announced Ireland's entry to the 'candidate' phase with France and South Africa also vying to be hosts.
"We intend to ensure Ireland's proposition will be world class and compelling," he said.
"We believe Ireland is ready to stage a Rugby World Cup, a tournament that will capture the imagination of the world."
Ireland formally announced their bid in December 2014 and a final decision on the hosts will be made in November next year.
Belfast among host cities
As well as the traditional rugby stadiums such as the Aviva in Dublin, the Kingspan at Ravenhill in Belfast and Thomond Park in Limerick, a 2023 World Cup in Ireland would also hope to utilise a number of impressive Gaelic football venues, including the 82,300-capacity Croke Park in Dublin and Belfast's Casement Park.
"For many years our sporting ambassadors have travelled the world bringing colour, passion and friendship to sporting events everywhere," said Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the Avivia Stadium.
"Now we want to bring the world to Ireland. Ireland is ready for the world."
Northern Ireland deputy First Minster Martin McGuinness highlighted Ireland's experience of hosting major sporting events.
"The 2023 Rugby World Cup bid is a bid for all the people of Ireland and the Executive will make every effort to make it a winning bid," he said.
"We have a proven track record of hosting major global events including the G8, Giro d'Italia, MTV Music Awards, the World Police and Fire Games, the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and the Irish Open Golf Championship.
"This is a collective effort and I commend the GAA for placing its grounds at the disposal of the tournament, a key factor in Ireland's ability to bid for it."