RWC 2015/2019 Tender Presentation Reaction
Four Unions outlined their bids to host either Rugby World Cup 2015 or 2019 in a 30-minute presentation to the IRB Council in Dublin on Wednesday. The presentations took place alphabetically with England first to present their bid, followed by Italy, Japan and reigning world champions South Africa.
Two Rugby World Cup winners, former captain Lawrence Dallagio and centre Will Greenwood were part of England's bid presentation to host in 2015, while Italy captain Sergio Parisse, Japan coach John Kirwan and former Springbok captain Morne du Plessis were involved in their respective Union's presentations for 2015 and 2019.
Lawrence Dallagio, England bid team
On the legacy that hosting a Rugby World Cup would leave in England:
"We have a once in a generation opportunity to create some sort of legacy for the future for the young boys and girls, young men and women coming through in our country and give them something to aim for and something to achieve and I think it is about creating that ambition. My Mum used to say to me shoot for the moon and you'll be amongst the stars and I think we have many stars in this country. When you are a child you are what you are exposed to in life and if we can expose children to the power of rugby, the values that that brings with it because rugby is a wonderful sport. I think it is a very powerful tool.
On a number of football stadiums proposed as venues for RWC 2015:
"I have obviously played in all the traditional rugby strongholds throughout the UK, but also the likes of Wembley, I have played at Old Trafford, the Theatre of Dreams, and that atmosphere was very different and very special and very unique. I have been lucky enough to play at Anfield, which was always a dream. These are some of the stadiums that we have included in our bid and I think will give us even more of a powerful case, both in terms of the rugby and the fans and the passion, but also in terms of the commercial factors that help to drive that as well."
Will Greenwood, England bid team
On what England offers a Rugby World Cup that is unique or special to England:
"We (England) are sports mad, absolutely sports mad. I know someone mentioned why are you not concerned about going to football venues, well I have had the opportunity to play at Old Trafford, at Anfield, and the reception was unbelievable.
"It is just the sports craziness of England in terms of their love of it, they would completely embrace the bid, they are so excited about (the Olympics in) 2012 and to then follow that up with 2015 and to bid for (the FIFA World Cup in) 2018 what a decade of sport for Britain if we were to be successful for these bids."
Sergio Parisse, Italy captain & bid team
On what hosting the Rugby World Cup would do for rugby in Italy:
"Italy now is a country where when you talk about Italy, you talk especially about soccer and rugby is going to be little by little a big sport in Italy and I think the World Cup is going to be fantastic for the development of Italian rugby."
On whether Italy would be different from what we saw at France in 2007:
"I think Italy is, like France, a country with a good tradition, it is a younger country of rugby and I think the World Cup is going to be the key for the future to have Italy a big country of rugby."
On what it would mean to captain Italy in a World Cup on home soil:
"It is going to be a dream. I said in the presentation, maybe when I was 12 years old and I imagined doing a World Cup in Italy I thought it was only a dream in my head, but now we have the opportunity to have a World Cup in Italy."
John Kirwan, Japan coach & bid team
On what hosting a Rugby World Cup would do for rugby not only in Japan but in Asia as a whole:
"I think the most important thing to realise is that it was a bid for Asia and it is our dream and hope that we are going to open Asia for rugby, which in the long term will mean a global game. I think we saw how much soccer grew in 2002 when the World Cup was in Japan and we have the same dream, we believe that Asia is important for rugby in the future and Japan is the gateway to that."
On what has Japan changed in its bid since last time, when it missed out on hosting the 2011 tournament:
"We have changed immensely. The Japanese Rugby Union of today in respect to the last bid time is completely transformed. We have gone from eight employees to 54 employees, our national team has grown, our national club competition has grown, we have the 20 biggest companies in the world that are prepared to support the World Cup, we have Government support for the World Cup and we have growth, we have 120,000 registered players now and by the time the World Cup gets there we will have 200,000. So we have changed, we have turned into a modern professional rugby Union that is ready for the World Cup."
Morne du Plessis, South Africa bid ambassador
On whether it would be a difficult act to follow the success on and off the field of the 1995 tournament:
"That was 14 years ago. We are going to enter into one of the biggest moments in our sporting history next year with FIFA 2010 and they are all big moments. That is in history, it is going to be legendary again soon as a major Hollywood movie is being made about that account. It will be released to a new audience in the world telling that story about rugby and the game of rugby's great ability to make a difference in the world. We would like to see rugby doing that again, whether it is in our country or any other country, but certainly we believe that we are ready and the theme of our presentation was that we are ready and we are waiting."
On how much hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2010 will helps their bid:
"Just the infrastructure spend from our Government, who will spend billions of pounds or are busy spending, if you come to South Africa today you will just see infrastructure from our airports or roads our rapid bus and transport systems, our new stadia. That is the infrastructure, the bricks and mortar but then there is the people skills, the skills that are needed to host a mega event like FIFA 2010.
"We really believe and our Government believes that we need to create and invite more mega sporting events and RWC it doesn't get bigger than that so we would really believe that a Rugby World Cup in 2015 would utilise all of that infrastructure, passion, Government support, local Government support. It is all there, it just now needs to be utilised for Rugby."