The Irish government is set to back plans to host the 2023 World Cup on the island of Ireland according to Minister for Sport Leo Varadkar.

Speaking after a meeting of the International Rugby Board on Monday, Varadkar confirmed that the government and the IRFU are ready to go ahead with their bid.

“I think Ireland is very well placed to host the Rugby World Cup. It’s probably the biggest event a country like Ireland could do; we’re too small for the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup and for that reason it would engender enormous national pride,” Varadkar said.

“The second thing is that even during the very difficult times of The Troubles, rugby in Ireland was a unifying sport. For us in Ireland, it would just be a symbol of how far we’ve come from the bad times to the better times now.”

IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne said, “We see this is as having great potential for Ireland as an island and for the sport itself.”

The GAA have already backed the plan and promised to make their grounds part of the proposal which must be put to the International Board by 2016.