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Russia surprises rugby world with Vladimir Putin-backed bid for 2027 World Cup

President Vladimir Putin has backed a surprise bid from Russia to rival Australia's pitch to host the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

Kirill Golosnitskiy of Russia celebrates with teammate Vasily Artemyev after scoring against Japan at the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Source: Getty

The Russian Rugby Federation has confirmed the country will bid to stage the global tournament, with Australia the current favourites to earn host status for the first time since 2003.

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.

"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.

The statement added: ""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."