By Nick Butler

A strong indication that Italy intends to bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup has been given ©AFP/Getty ImagesA bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup could form part of a three-pronged Italian effort to host major sporting events, with plans to stage the 2022 Ryder Cup and the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics also in place.


After a narrow defeat to England in the race for the 2015 edition, a fresh Italian World Cup bid had been widely expected.

 "I'd like to bring the World Cup to eight cities," Italian Rugby Federation President Alfredo Gavazzi said.

"Not just Rome and Milan but also in the south, either Palermo or Bari and also to Genoa, Turin and Florence.

"We could build a few new stadiums or use the ones where football matches are played.

"We have reached an agreement with the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) and we have the endorsement of the Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

"This World Cup could become a cocktail for our country, before the Olympic Games of 2024 and the Catholic Jubilee of 2025.

"We are working to have common locations with those events."

An Italian bid would face a challenge from Six Nations rivals Ireland, after they formally confirmed their intention to bid yesterday ©Getty ImagesAn Italian bid would face a challenge from Six Nations rivals Ireland, after they formally confirmed their intention to bid yesterday ©Getty Images




A tournament in Italy would be an attractive prospect for World Rugby and a further indication that the game is moving beyond its traditional Anglo-speaking heartlands, following the 2019 edition due to take place in Japan.

But, with Ireland having also formal confirmed a bid yesterday, and South Africa, Argentina and the United States other potential contenders, the competition is likely to remain fierce.

There will also remain doubts over Italy's financial stability with the country still struggling with the economic crisis.

That contributed two years ago to Rome abandoning its bid for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics due to a lack of Government support.

But, despite the continuation of these problems - which saw Rome's City Council bailed out by the Central Government earlier this year - positive indications have been given with regard to a fresh bid by the Italian capital in 2024, where cities in the United States, Germany and the Middle East will be expected to provide opposition.

A CONI spokesman told insidethegames earlier this year that "Italy is still thinking about a possible bid but no decision has been made and no decision will be made until early next year".

Rome is still planning a 2024 bid, in what would be an attempt to bring the Summer Olympics back to Italian soil for the first time since Rome 1960 ©Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesRome is still planning a 2024 bid, in what would be an attempt to bring the Summer Olympics back to Italian soil for the first time since Rome 1960 ©Hulton Archive/Getty Images




A bid for the Ryder Cup, the biennial golf competition pitting Europe against the United States, is also an intriguing prospect, with Italian Golf Federation President Franco Chimenti having recently predicted that if they "play their cards right", their bid could be successful.

With the event switching between the US and Europe on a set basis, meaning that the 2022 event is guaranteed for Europe, Austria, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Turkey have all confirmed bids.

If Italy is successful, competition would be held at the Marco Simone Club just outside Rome.

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