By Duncan Mackay

Croke Park_in_rugby_modeFebruary 19 - Ireland is considering launching a bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup and have already started a feasbility study, it was revealed today. 

The country's Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar is due to hold talks in the next few weeks with the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) to discuss the idea. 

Any bid would centre around Dublin stadiums Aviva and the RDS, Croke Park, which have been recently refurbished, but matches would also be played in Northern Ireland as the IRFU is the governing body for the whole of Ireland.

But any bid would need a commitment from the Irish Government of up to €120 million (£100 million/$158 million), it is estimated.

"It's something that we've looked at in the past and coming back from New Zealand and seeing what they were able to do there, we said let's have a look at it again," Philip Browne, the chief executive of the IRFU, told The Sunday Independent.

"So that's all we're doing: having a think about it.

"It's a question ultimately of whether the Government wants to get involved in it or not.

"If they don't want to get involved in it then it doesn't happen."

England are due to host the 2015 World Cup and Japan the 2019 event. 

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]