Five countries have expressed an interest in hosting the 2023 World Cup, World Rugby has announced.
France, Ireland, Italy, South Africa and the USA are all reportedly keen to host the event, and representatives from each country were in London this week to gather information.
The USA and Italy have never hosted the competition, while Ireland have hosted games but the not the tournament itself, in 1991 and 1999.
The tournament took place in France in 2007, and in South Africa in 1995, with the Springboks winning on each occasion.
"The briefing was the first step in the expression of interest phase of the process, which over the course of the next year will provide potential candidates with an opportunity to participate in the Rugby World Cup 2015 observer and comprehensive knowledge transfer programs," World Rugby said in a statement on Friday.
The bidding process began on May 14, and unions have until June 2016 to confirm a tender, with the final decision to be taken in May 2017.
Rugby World Cup tournament director Alan Gilpin said: "We are delighted with the strong level of serious interest from unions and governments in Rugby World Cup 2023 at this very early stage, which highlights the enormous hosting appeal of Rugby World Cup as a low-risk, high-return economic, social and sporting driver and we welcome further dialogue as the process progresses."