Brian O’Driscoll, ambassador for Ireland’s bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023, feels the group hit a peak today as they make a presentation to World Rugby.
The Irish delegation, including IRFU chief executive Philip Browne, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and former Tanaiste Dick Spring, made a 30-minute pitch to officials in London and then spoke to the media afterwards.
O’Driscoll said the process went smoothly and he was happy with the impression made: "I think it went pretty well. We got good feedback, some interesting questions that were answered with confidence.
"Overall we’re pleased with where we’ve managed to deliver our pitch. It’s been the culmination of a lot of years' work. It is nervous moments.
"We did a lot of rehearsing over the last weekend to get that right. I felt all five speakers probably peaked today.
"Hopefully the message we delivered to World Rugby and the council members will stick with them for their decision on 15 November."
Former Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll said there was good feedback to their pitch today. pic.twitter.com/HQMA0rJCG1— RTÉ Rugby (@RTErugby) September 25, 2017
The Ireland great spoke warmly of Ireland’s reputation for attracting visitors and feels the popularity of the country could make it a World Cup to remember.
"We’re hugely proud of our visitors and our tourists that come to the country. We want to send them away with great memories. We’re sports lovers. It’s not just big rugby fans. You find people loving multiple sports. GAA fans like rugby, soccer fans like GAA.
"I think you’ll have the whole country embracing having a whole world staring in for seven weeks and delivering the best we have to offer.
"Our welcome, our 100,000 welcomes, speaks volumes for how much we want people to come in and cuddle them and give them the love that they deserve and send them away with great memories to tell their families and friends."
The questions put to the Irish bid team included issues surrounding Brexit, infrastructure and corporate capabilities, with the former Irish captain pleased with how the team answered the queries.
"There is always going to the questions about Brexit and question marks about our accommodation. One thing about this team – Philip Browne and all the experts we’ve had involved – they know exactly their details. You can only have banana skins if you don’t know what you’re talking about.
"There is still obviously uncertainty about Brexit. The Taoiseach answered that comfortably and with regard to corporate and accommodation we are very, very comfortable with where we are at and the council members seem pretty impressed with the answers."