The Irish Rugby Football Union has withdrawn from the Rugby World Cup 2015 bidding process.

The IRFU had made an expression of interest to the International Rugby Board in January to make a joint bid with England, Scotland and Wales for the 2015 tournament.

Commenting on the decision, IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne said: ‘The current economic situation and the financial commitment to host a Rugby World Cup tournament was such that we felt a joint bid with all four unions including Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales would be the only viable format that Irish Rugby could be part of.

‘We examined in detail the possibility of other bid options alongside the positive spin offs of hosting the tournament, but these did not satisfy all of the essential criteria for Irish rugby to remain involved in the process.

'We are obviously disappointed at the outcome as I believe the Irish rugby and wider sporting public would have given tremendous support to the tournament.’