World Rugby notes the decision by the Federazione Italiana Rugby (FIR) today to withdraw from the Rugby World Cup 2023 host selection process. 

While it is disappointing that the FIR feels unable to proceed, World Rugby fully understands the decision and hopes to see Italy join the process for future Rugby World Cup hosting.

The host selection process continues with three strong applications currently being evaluated by a World Rugby Technical Review Group. The outcomes of the evaluation will be independently assessed to ensure a fair and consistent approach. Applicants that meet the criteria outlined will move to the candidate phase on 1 November. The Rugby World Cup 2023 host will be selected in November 2017.


The Rugby World Cup 2023 host selection process follows a complete redesign of the bidding process to promote good governance and transparency, while providing prospective hosts unions and governments with an opportunity to gather all the information necessary to ensure hosting capability prior to moving through the process. This re-modelling has been assisted by The Sports Consultancy, which helped develop the documentation, tools and will support World Rugby throughout the process, including the evaluation and assessment phase. The appointment follows an initial project by The Sports Consultancy last year reviewing decision-making processes and evaluation criteria.