The man responsible for New Zealand’s staging of the Rugby World Cup has said he supports Ireland’s bid to host the tournament.
Murray McCully was New Zealand’s designated minister for the Rugby World Cup before it took place in 2011.
He is now the country’s Foreign Minister and is on a visit to Ireland.
He said Ireland has the support of the Kiwi government, and that he will encourage rugby chiefs to back Ireland’s bid.
“I’ll report faithfully the glowing credentials that have been outlined to me today and I’ll do my best to ensure they are fully recognised by the New Zealand Union in making its decision (on which bid to support),” he said.
“I’ve made my position clear; I think this would be a terrific place to host the Rugby World Cup.”
Ireland, Italy, South Africa, France and the USA are all bidding to host the tournament.