Rugby World Cup: Italy announce bid to host 2023 tournament

Rugby World Cup trophy in Rome
Rome's Olympic Stadium has staged Italy's home Six Nations fixtures since 2012

Italy will bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The Italians face competition from Ireland, while South Africa and the United States are also expected to bid.

Governing body World Rugby will launch its expression of interest phase for countries aiming to stage the 2023 tournament in May but a final decision is not due until 2017.

England hosts this year's edition, which runs from 18 September to 31 October, with Japan staging it in 2019.

Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) president Alfredo Gavazzi said: "I am sure that today Italian rugby has everything you need to organise a memorable Rugby World Cup and that whole movement, in the next two years, will work to ensure that this dream can become a reality."

Italy has never hosted the World Cup, while Ireland staged games in 1991 and 1999 without being the principal hosts.

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