The announcement was long-awaited, it even became an open secret, but the formalization happened on 07 November: the city of Tours will host the Irish national rugby union team during the Rugby Cup. Rugby World Cup 2023 will be held in France
How do we recognize an event that has desired itself? From a journalistic perspective, a press conference setting is a first clue. This Monday, November 07, we were thus invited to the wedding hall of the Hotel de Ville in Tours for a press conference that was announced as at least of major importance, if not exceptional. It’s simple, all communities have sent us invitations: from cities to regions, through the rugby authorities who are responsible for organizing the Rugby Union World Cup next year in France.
All the political and rugby gratins on the scene were present and smiling de rigueur. It must be said that the announcement was awaited for 9 months. It has been almost a year since Tours were tipped as favorites to be the Irish national team’s base camp for a month during the Rugby World Cup. Yes, but between negotiations with the Irish Federation, challenges from other candidate cities (Chartres and Orleans) and legal problems between the rugby authorities (read our article again), the months passed and the international event was approaching.
Ultimately, Tours’ candidacy was accepted. What made the difference was the geographical location of the tour, ideally placed between Nantes, Bordeaux and Saint-Denis, the three cities that would host the Irish XV during their group matches, but the infrastructure and especially the stadium of Chambry in Tours. -Nord is currently under construction. The intention is to construct a building of 1,300m² in particular “In particular, with 8 players’ locker rooms, referees’ locker rooms, administrative and infirmary premises, as well as a conviviality area and a 300 m² weight room block” As a bonus, the municipality incentivizes the installation of the latest generation of weight training equipment, as specified by the municipality. Total budget for this operation: €3.5 million, half the city and the rest the metropole. Elected officials who also specified that this work will be useful later for local athletes: the school or the Pioneers of Touraine, the American football team that has evolved into the national elite since this year.
From a logistical point of view, the XV of Clover will be hosted at Belmont Castle, which already hosted the Czech national football team during Euro 2016 in France. For the community, city, metropolis, region, this reception is a great tool for outreach, but also economic with the hope of getting Irish supporters on tour.