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Liam Neeson to help Ireland's World Cup bid

Liam Neeson waived any potential fee for the promotional video. Credit: PA

Hollywood star Liam Neeson will help Ireland ratchet up their all-out charm offensive bid to host Rugby World Cup 2023 in Dublin on Tuesday.

Irish movie actor Neeson has narrated a video entitled "Ready For The World" that the 2023 World Cup bid team will debut at Tuesday's bid unveiling at the Aviva Stadium.

"Taken" star Neeson has voiced the video free of charge, lending his celebrity weight to Ireland's increasingly high-profile bid to stage rugby's global contest in seven years' time.

An Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) spokesman confirmed to Press Association Sport that actor Neeson had waived any potential fee for the promotional video, in a clear early boost to Ireland's bid.

Ireland will reveal detailed logistics and plans for their £100million bid at Tuesday's press conference, outlining potential venues and anticipated tourism and financial benefits of hosting the competition.

Ireland are battling it out with South Africa and France for the chance to stage the World Cup in seven years' time.

The IRFU has joined forces with the two Irish governments to build a bid that will run to at least £100million.

Global governing body World Rugby will decide the 2023 competition's destination in November 2017 - and Ireland are comfortably the first of the three competing nations to map out their detailed hosting plans.

No change in rights for Irish citizens in UK post-Brexit

There will be no change for the rights of Irish citizens in the UK, the Brexit Secretary has said. Credit: PA

Irish citizens are expected to have their special status in the UK protected after the UK leaves the EU, Brexit Secretary David Davis has said.

Under the Ireland Act 1949, the Republic of Ireland is regarded as "not a foreign country" for the purpose of UK laws. The Conservative MP for Haltemprice and Howden believes there will be no change to this.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Davis said: "The aim... is that the common travel area rights - including the rights to vote, the rights to work and so on, both ways - will continue but I will come back to you about the detail."



Kearney to leave Ireland role after November series

Kearney will leae his role at Ireland after the November series. Credit: PA

Michael Kearney will step down from his role as team manager after Ireland's November Test series.

Kearney took over the role from Paul McNaughton in January 2012, but is stepping back to allow the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) plenty of time to plan for the 2019 World Cup.

"It has been a great privilege to work with the national team for the past five years," said Kearney.

"I've witnessed at first hand the incredible work ethic of players and management and the desire to reach world-class standards in everything they do.

"The time was right for me to step down and allow the next team manager time to integrate into the group ahead of the next World Cup."

Kearney managed Ireland on the 2013 tour to North America before remaining in the role under head coach Joe Schmidt.

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