O'Driscoll pitches for Rugby World Cup as May dons green jersey

O'Driscoll pitches for Rugby World Cup as May dons green jersey

Theresa May has backed Ireland's bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023.

Asked about her comments last week when she said that France's Winter Olympics team will not travel to the 2018 Games in South Korea if its security can not be guaranteed, Flessel said that security was an global concern and that the country's athletes were training hard for the Games.

The taoiseach was the only state leader to attend in person as Ireland, France and South Africa all presented their bids to stage the tournament.

President Emmanuel Macron has distanced himself from France's bid, declining to provide a video message as previously promised, while the French paraded support from the late All Black wing Jonah Lomu's sons in their pitch.

He revealed that British Prime Minister Theresa May had written to the Rugby World Cup organisation, affirming the UK's support for the tournament to be hosted on the island.

The Irish have been buoyed by the opportunity of using previously unavailable Gaelic sports stadiums, highlighted by Dublin's 82,000-capacity Croke Park.

The Taoiseach's comments which will surely have many questioning the Government's priorities come after he and fellow Government Minister Shane Ross joined former Ireland stars Brian O'Driscoll and Dick Spring, as well as IRFU chief Philp Browne in London to officially launch Ireland's bid to host the tournament which could potentially generate millions of Euro in revenue.

Contractually, this commitment is demonstrated by the fact that the South African government has, as the lead partner in the bid process, signed off on all the requirements stipulated by the World Rugby Council, satisfying more than the required minimum guarantee in the process.

South Africa is contesting for the hosting rights along with France and Ireland.

Pienaar was in London as part of the bid party yesterday and said: "Not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the impact it would have on our country".

A delegation led by deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa made the official presentation in London on Monday to host the event.

"As a young democracy we are very robust", he said. "But what we are all sure about is (ensuring) that the principles and values of our hard-won democracy and constitution will remain stable and lasting".