Ireland World Cup would be 'unreal': Moore

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

An Ireland World Cup would be ‘unreal’ to see, Wallabies hooker Stephen Moore says.

Ireland is one of three countries in the running to host the 2023 tournament, vying against France and South Africa for the honour.

The island nation is the only one of the trio never to have hosted the tournament outright, with South Africa putting on the 1995 World Cup and France hosting in 2007, though some games were played in Wales.

World Rugby’s executive will announce its 2023 World Cup recommendation late on Tuesday night Australian time, ahead of next month’s vote.

While their recommendation is not the final decision, it is rare that the tournament is awarded to any of the other bidders, making this announcement critical.

Moore, who spent his early childhood in Ireland, captained Australia to the 2015 World Cup final in England and said he'd be keen to see Ireland given the chance to host.

“There's no secret that I'd love to see Ireland host it, I think they've put a lot of work into their bid and I think they would do a fantastic job,” he said.

“I think the unique thing about Ireland is it's a small country, it's easy to get around, it'd be great for people to go and visit and experience the culture over there.

“It's a very welcoming country to visit.

“You go to any country in the world and you'll find plenty of Irish people and I think they would see it as their opportunity to reciprocate the hospitality and the opportunities that have been given to Irish people around the world.

"I think they've done all they can to put their bid forward as have everyone else and it would be unreal to see Ireland get the nod."

The Wallabies will have a glimpse of the 2019 Rugby World Cup final venue on Saturday when they take on Japan for the first time in Japan and Moore said it would be an invaluable experience for the team, many of whom will be back in the country in 2019.

“I think on the back of the world cup in 2015 and Japan doing pretty well there, rugby's really gone forward there and with the World Cup coming up now, I think it'll be a great time to play up there, particularly for the boys who will be going forward to that World Cup,” he said.

“It's going to be a really enjoyable week and an important week for them to get that feel of what it's like to play there, the culture of Japan and how that's different to here and also the stadium, the same venue that's going to host the World Cup so that has significance as well.”

Australia will have another chance to experience Japan in 2018, with New Zealand set to take the third Bledisloe to Japan as well.

The full fixture for the 2019 Rugby World Cup will be announced on Thursday in Tokyo.

The Wallabies fly to Japan on Tuesday night, ahead of Saturday’s first Spring Tour Test.

Australia takes on Japan in Yokohama on Saturday, kicking off at 2:40pm local, 4:40pm AEDT LIVE on FOX SPORTS.