The French wore #France2023 on their jerseys against Scotland
Ireland, France and South Africa are all bidding to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup and the French are using this year's Six Nations to publicise their bid.
Ireland are really up against it as our two competitors have both hosted the football and rugby World Cups within the last 25 years, have bigger stadia and far larger populations.
Ireland's bid is largely based on the successful tournament hosted by New Zealand in 2011. The Kiwi's have a similar population and climate to ourselves and hosted a memorable event which all involved can be proud of.
Their tournament was based on the concept of "the stadium of four million" and the locals embraced all the teams who landed in Aotearoa almost six years ago.
Auckland Mayor Len Brown celebratres in 2011. Image: ©INPHO/Photosport/Ella Brockelsby
Ireland's bid is quite similar, embracing regional grounds around the island and even including non-traditional rugby areas like Killarney and Castlebar in our offering.
While it's nice to think "it's our turn" to host such an event outright, it doesn't work that way. Almost everything will have to fall in our favour to win the right to host in 2023 and we will have to call in any outstanding favours and then some.
France’s Yoann Huget after the matchlast weekend. Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland
France arrive in Dublin later today and will more than likely be advertising their bid again. Of course, a bit of advertising today won't swing the bid either way but it's the French way of saying to us: "It's on."
Hopefully the IRFU have something similar planned. They have yet to respond to a query on the issue lodged by Newstalk.com yesterday afternoon.