The Russian Rugby Federation (RRF) has confirmed the country is preparing an application to host the 2027 World Cup and that President Vladimir Putin is backing the bid.
Russia had expressed an interest in hosting the tournament, using the stadiums from soccer’s 2018 World Cup as venues
The official bidding campaign is set to begin in February with the sport’s global governing body World Rugby expected to decide the hosts next May.
Australia, co-hosts of the inaugural World Cup with New Zealand in 1987 and the venue for the successful 2003 edition, are the favourites to host the 2027 showpiece with Argentina pulling out earlier this year.
France will host the next World Cup in 2023, which will be the third in a row in the northern hemisphere after England in 2015 and Japan last year.