The French Rugby Federation will bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup
Last Updated: 27/06/15 4:55pm
The French Rugby Federation (FFR) confirmed on Saturday that the country will bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
In a statement issued at the end of their annual congress in the eastern city of Belfort, the FFR said that an official bid should be delivered in 2017.
A final decision on the host nation will be made in May of that year by World Rugby.
An all-Ireland bid to host the 2023 tournament was announced in December while Italy, South Africa and the United States have also expressed interest.
The bidding process opened on May 14 with the deadline for confirmation of a union to tender set for June 2016 and the final decision to be taken on May 2017.
Rugby World Cup tournament director Alan Gilpin said: "We are delighted with the strong level of serious interest from unions and governments in Rugby World Cup 2023 at this very early stage, which highlights the enormous hosting appeal of Rugby World Cup as a low-risk, high-return economic, social and sporting driver and we welcome further dialogue as the process progresses."
After New Zealand hosted the last World Cup in 2011, it is the turn of England this year before it goes to Japan in 2019.
France previously hosted the tournament in 2007, when South Africa defeated England in the final.