IRFU chief Philip Browne insists that the Irish public won’t be left saddled with a huge bill if the 2023 Rugby World Cup is awarded to the country.

Ireland is facing off with France and South Africa for the right to host the tournament in six years time.

It has emerged that legislation will have to be rushed through in order to guarantee that the world cup can take place in Ireland if the IRFU’s bid is given the green light by World Rugby in November.

The Government will also have to underwrite the tournament, which could see the Exchequer saddled with the bill should there be any losses - but Browne is confident that this won’t happen.

When asked to explain the situation he replied: "In April we got the formal guarantees that are required by World Rugby from World Rugby themselves.

"Those were considered in May, and in order to affect those guarantees legislation will be required and we have until the end of July to put that legislation through. 

"There are two elements to the guarantee," said Browne, speaking to RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland.

"The first is the tournament fee of £120m sterling (€138m) that has to be paid to World Rugby for the privilege of hosting the event.

"Secondly, the underwriting of the tournament costs and in affect what that means, if you didn’t sell any tickets at all, the Government might have to step in and pay for the cost of the tournament.

"The reality is, in no previous tournament has there ever been a situation where there hasn’t been an operating profit. It will cost Ireland the £120m sterling tournament fee."

Ireland is hoping to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup

The successful bid will be picked by World Rugby in November and Browne is confident that Ireland will get the nod.

He says the Irish tournament bid has the backing of government on both sides of the border and the public. He also says that there are enough hotel beds for travelling fans despite concerns in this area.

"We’re going to deliver a unique event full of atmosphere and we provide a number of opportunities for World Rugby, not only in terms of what we can do with rugby here in Ireland, but also what we can do with rugby world wide.

"There is an Irish diaspora of 70m worldwide, particularly in North America, which is a huge market for rugby.

"We have the stadia, thanks to the GAA, we have the tremendous support of government here in the Republic of Ireland and in Nothern Ireland, which is absolutely vital if you want to run an event of this scale.

"We have cross-party political support and we have the support of the public and I think we can put together an amazing tournament.

"We need 2.7m bed nights in Ireland during the tournament. We’re quite happy and we have been speaking with hotel federation and Failte Ireland and the Northern Ireland tourism bodies and we have guaranteed 2.4m bed nights already and we have a price mechanism so that there is a fair price for those beds."