IRFU chief executive Philip Browne said that Scotland and Wales not voting for Ireland’s 2023 World Cup bid was a "huge disappointment" but was grateful from backing from England.

Ireland picked up just eight votes as they were eliminated at the first stage. France went on to claim the hosting rights.

Browne said securing a vote from England meant a lot to the board. 

He told RTÉ Sport: "The only issue we have – we know that Scotland and Wales didn’t vote for us and that made a huge difference.

"As our nearest neighbours, that is a huge disappointment to us. Scotland were pretty consistent in saying they would wait for the evaluation report and that they would go with the bid that produces the most money.

"Wales felt duty-bound and honour-bound to support Gareth Davies as he is a director of Rugby World Cup Limited, who actually produced the evaluation report. I can understand that.

"But even so it is terribly disappointing. We have to thank England who have supported us. It’s funny – when the chips are down the one country that always supports Ireland is England. We’re very grateful for that."

Browne said that while it’s an extremely disappointing day for Ireland, it may lead to questions for World Rugby on what they want from a tournament host.

"I’m very disappointed indeed. We worked really hard for this for six years. A lot of people have put a lot of time and effort into it. A lot of people have put time and effort into it and there has obviously been cost to it.

"The government in the north and south have put a huge amount of effort and commitment into it. Indeed the UK government have as well.

"I don’t think we could have done anything more. I thought we put in a really good bid. In fact Bill Beaumont said that all three bidders are more than capable of hosting a world class tournament.

"We always set out that the day after the announcement, one way or another, we could look ourselves in the mirror and say we did everything we could.

"And the answer is we did and it simply just wasn’t good enough. At the end of the day, France have won, congratulations to France and I’m sure they’ll put on an excellent World Cup.

"It’s kind of a circular argument. You can’t host this tournament because you haven’t hosted it before.

"You get marked down because you’re a new host. If World Rugby wants to encourage new hosts, it should be the other way around. You should be marked up. But these are questions for World Rugby."