The Irish Rugby Union could bid to host the 2023 World Cup.
Philip Browne, the chief executive of the IRFU, has confirmed that a potential bid is currently being considered.
Ireland has never staged the tournament as a whole but Browne says the country’s governing body was encouraged to look into the prospect of welcoming the world to the likes of the Aviva Stadium and Thomond Park after returning from last year’s competition in New Zealand.
But while Browne is keen to promote a bid, he admits that government backing is absolutely essential.
“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’,” said Browne.
“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 will host the World Cup for a second time in 2015 having done so on it’s own in 1991, while Wales was the major host nation in 1999.
Those two nations have also hosted games when the other was the main host, while Wales did the same when the tournament came to France in 2007.
Both Ireland and Scotland have been home to matches in previous years but neither nation has been the major host of the game’s showpiece event.