Italy withdraws bid for 2023 Rugby World Cup

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ROME (AP) — The Italian Rugby Federation has withdrawn its bid to host the 2023 World Cup.

The federation says the decision was based on the expected withdrawal of Rome's bid to host the 2024 Olympics.

Federation president Alfredo Gavazzi says, "Our candidature has always been strictly connected to the Olympic Games bid for Rome 2024 and, as agreed with the government and the Olympic committee, we are unable to provide necessary commitments for us to move forward."

Italy's withdrawal leaves France, Ireland and South Africa in the running for the tournament. The host country will be selected in November, 2017.

Rome's city council is expected to vote down its Olympic bid on Thursday following Mayor Virginia Raggi's rejection of the candidacy last week.

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