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24 June


The 2027 Rugby World Cup can be played in Russia

Russia coach Lyn Jones says the country would do a "really good job" of hosting the Rugby World Cup

Photo: AP

/NOVOSTIVL/ The Russian union confirmed they are preparing the bid for 2027 Rugby World Cup showpiece event. With Argentina pulling out of the race earlier this year, favourites Australia will now cast a wary eye on the rugby minnows of Russia who have the country’s successful sporting infrastructure to call on.

Reports say the Russian bid has strong government backing.

The official bidding campaign is set to begin next February, with World Rugby expected to decide the hosts in May 2022.

The next World Cup will be played in France in 2023 and having a repeat tournament in Europe four years later would go against the revolving geographical approach World Rugby have historically taken with the tournament.

Russian coach Lyn Jones, a former Wales flanker who has coached Ospreys and the Dragons, believes Russia would handle the assignment with ease from a logistics perspective.

"They will do a really good job," Jones told the BBC.

"Everybody who ventured to Russia for the football World Cup (in 2018) had nothing but positives to say.

"The hospitality and the facilities for visitors are superb - the football World Cup went a long way to rejuvenating cities and bringing the best out of the nation.

"They're pretty serious about the proposal they're putting together, they'll do anything for elite sport and they want it to reflect well on their country."

He believed having the tournament in Russia could have a similar effect to the last World Cup in Japan which was held outside a rugby stronghold for the first time and exceeded all expectations. Jones suggested Russia getting the tournament “would wake a sleeping bear”.

Russia contested the World Cup in Japan but lost all their matches - against Japan (30-10), Samoa (34-9), Ireland (35-0) and Scotland (61-0).

In this year’s Rugby Europe Championship Russia beat Portugal and Romania after losing to Spain and Belgium. Their crunch game with champions Georgia was postponed when the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Jones said Russia had a growing domestic championship with improving standards and there was a strong desire to build the game there.