Report: 68% of people agree with 2023 Rugby World Cup bid

Paul O'Connell and Conor McGregor tie as Ireland's favourite male sports personality

Report: 68% of people agree with 2023 Rugby World Cup bid

A view of the bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

A report published on Tuesday has shown that 68% of people either strongly agree or agree with Ireland's bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The 2016 Phillip Lee Sports Report revealed a number of interesting habits about how the public's participation and level of interest in sport. The last report was commissioned in 2014.

Some of the key findings include: 

  • 7 million Irish adults are interested in sport and exercise while 2.6 million adults participate in sports or other physical activity in Ireland.
  • As a nation, we’re spending over 20% less time watching live sport on TV compared to 2014. Meanwhile, the average sports fan now spends around €260 per annum on the various matches, heats and finals that attract them, a figure that’s down significantly from an average of €340 in 2014.
  • 44% those polled agreed with the sentiment that Sports Ireland (formally the Irish Sports Council) should reduce its support for the Olympic Council of Ireland considering the ticketing scandal.
  • Regarding women in sport, it appears that male dominance is still a problem in this country. Nearly half of those surveyed (44%) have not watched any women’s sporting events in the past six months and three in four have not attended any female sporting events.

Ireland are competing against South Africa and France to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Both of Ireland's competitors have experience of hosting large sporting events and have both hosted the Rugby and Football World Cups within the last 25 years.

Brian O'Driscoll. Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

68% of respondents either agree or strongly agree with Ireland's bid to host the event with 76% believing that hosting such a massive major tournament will have positive impact on the economy.  

Another interesting find was that former Irish rugby captain Paul O'Connell tied with UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor as Ireland's favourite male sporting personality.

Katie Taylor is the outright women's winner.

The full report can be read here.  

Philip Lee, Managing Partner, Philip Lee, Sarah Keane, President, Olympic Council of Ireland, John Treacy, CEO Sport Ireland and Ruairi Barclayat the launch of the report.