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President Vladimir Putin backs surprise Russia bid to host 2027 Rugby World Cup

Australia are the current favourites to earn host status for the tournament.

President Vladimir Putin has backed a surprise bid from Russia to host the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

The Russian Rugby Federation has confirmed the country will bid to stage the global tournament, with Australia the current favourites to earn host status.

World Rugby's official host bidding process will open in February 2021, with the 2027 host decision expected in May 2022.

France held off competition from Ireland and South Africa to stage the 2023 tournament, with Japan having enjoyed a record-breaking competition in 2019.

Russia finished bottom of Pool A at Japan 2019, with former London Welsh and Dragons coach Lyn Jones at the helm, and ex-Northampton wing Vasily Artemyev the captain.

"On July 24 the supreme council of the Russian Rugby Federation established a committee to prepare an application to host the Rugby World Cup in Russia in 2027," read a statement on the Russian Rugby Federation website.

"Anticipating the creation of the committee, chairman of the supreme council of the Russian Rugby Federation Igor Artemyev recalled that the initiative to prepare an application to host the 2027 Rugby World Cup in Russia was supported by the president of Russia at the council for the development of physical culture and sports.

"The necessary consultations were held with the participation of the ministry of sports. By the end of this year detailed information and criteria for the application are expected."

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A general shot of the Rugby World Cup trophy ahead of the 2019 tournament
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina34241674
United StatesUnited States29352791
JapanJapan22101446
AustraliaAustralia1751941
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee16222058
Great BritainGreat Britain16181852
Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events


ATHLETICS
· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

MARATHON SWIMMING
· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

BOXING
· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

DIVING
· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

HOCKEY
· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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