(ATR) Russian President Vladimir Putin throws his support behind a surprise bid to host the 2027 Rugby World Cup.
Russia has qualified for two Rugby World Cups (2011, 2019). (Russian Rugby Federation)
The Russian Rugby Federation (RRF) says it has established a committee to prepare an application to bid for the sport’s showpiece event and has Putin's backing in the endeavor.
The federation says detailed information and criteria for the application are expected by the end of the year.
Russia, a minnow in the sport, would join favorites Australia as the only current candidates bidding for the tournament. Argentina pulled out of the running in April.
Australia, which lifted the William Webb Ellis trophy as champions in 1991 and 1999, previously hosted the World Cup in 2003 and co-hosted with New Zealand in 1987.
Australia's chances of winning the 2027 bid are helped by the fact that the southern hemisphere has not hosted the World Cup since New Zealand did it in 2011. England hosted in 2015, Japan in 2019 and France will do the honors in 2023.
According to the RRF, the bidding process is to begin in February 2021 with a decision on the host for 2027 to be made by World Rugby in May 2022.
World Rugby tells Around the Rings
that the process will open next year and that details will be announced in the coming weeks. In March, just before the Covid-19 pandemic took full hold, World Rugby said that details on a process to award both the 2027 and 2031 tournaments simultaneously in 2021 were being prepared. It appears a dual decision may no longer be
The United States, like Russia a small player in world rugby, is believed by many to be the favorite to host in 2031. A 2027 bid would seem less appealing, given that the USA is already co-hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup and Los Angeles is hosting the 2028 Olympics.
Homepage photo: Kremlin
Written by Gerard Farek
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