Italy throw hat in ring for World Cup 2023
ITALY are to join Ireland and South Africa in bidding for World Cup 2023.
The FIR yesterday confirmed their intention to enter the race to host the tournament and will finalise their bid by May.
Ireland were first into the race, while the South Africans signalled their intention to bid earlier this week, but Italy are the first entrant to never have hosted the competition before.
"I am sure that today Italian rugby has everything necessary to organise an unforgettable Rugby World Cup and that, over the next two years, the whole movement will work to make this dream come true," Italian Federation president Alfredo Gavazzi said.
The process is a long one with the ultimate decision on who will host the World Cup being made in May, 2017. England will host this year's instalment, while Japan will host the 2019 World Cup.
Meanwhile, it was a busy day for Guinness Pro12 disciplinary officials as they presided over three cases involving Irish-based players.
Ulster's Luke Marshall received a five-week ban after being found guilty of foul play worthy of a red card for an incident during last weekend's win over Scarlets. The Ireland centre was cited for "an alleged kick to the head of an opponent" and has the right of appeal.
His team-mate Roger Wilson will miss Ulster's game against Dragons on Sunday after being found guilty of striking and banned for a week.
Leinster centre Ben Te'o was found guilty of foul play by the three-person committee after being cited for leading with the arm against the Ospreys, but the incident was not worthy of a red card so he escaped a ban.
Connacht's Danie Poolman has signed a new two-year deal.