Two venues in the area have been placed on an approved list of team bases for the Rugby World Cup 2015.
Market Harborough Rugby Club and Leicester Grammar School have announced that they are on the list.
Tournament organising committee, England Rugby 2015 has confirmed that both venues meet the criteria to become a team base and they will now move to the next phase of a selection on the approved list, from which teams will select their bases for use in 2015.
The bid to host a team at Market Harborough Rugby Club was submitted jointly by Harborough District Council and the Rugby Club last year.
It was followed by an assessment visit from England Rugby 2015.
A Team Base must include an indoor and outdoor training facility, a gym, an indoor swimming pool and a hotel.
These facilities must meet international team training standards and be located in close proximity to one another. Match venue location has also been taken into account.
England Rugby requires up to 50 bases for use during the tournament. These will be confirmed mid-2014 following completion of team visits and selection.
Phil Jarvis, Market Harborough Rugby Club chairman, said: “We are naturally delighted to progress through to the next stage.
“It has been a great team effort from all our community partners and once again Rich Lainchbury has worked tirelessly on behalf of the club.
“Whilst we are excited about the news, we will have to wait and see if any of the competing nations choose our bid. We’ve got our fingers crossed.”
The tournament commences in September 2015.
Cllr Blake Pain, leader of Harborough District Council, said: “We are delighted to reach the next stage and pleased that our facilities meet the criteria.
“To host an international team at Rugby World Cup would be fantastic for the district and the town.
“We are in the fortunate position of being within an hour from three of the match venues and a direct train ride from the London venues so are perfectly placed to host a team.
“The Harborough bid is a community bid, and if we are fortunate enough to be selected as a host we will welcome the team to the district and make it a home from home.”
Bases on the approved list are not guaranteed to host teams; however they will be used to provide the competing nations with their Team Base options, many of which are currently undertaking visits of prospective bases.
Chris King, Leicester Grammar School headmaster, said: “We’re delighted with the news that Leicester Grammar School has met the exacting requirements of Rugby World Cup 2015 organisers, England 2015, and have been chosen as a potential Team Base.
“We would be proud to host any of the nations who qualify for the finals next year and think that hosting an international rugby team would be an excellent endorsement of our facilities and the local area.”
Debbie Jevans, England Rugby 2015 chief executive officer, said: “Since launching the Team Base selection process there has been strong support for the tournament right across England and Wales with over 80 applications made to host teams in 2015.
“I would like to thank all those who have applied and who have met with us in recent months; these visits have been integral to the process and have shown the great enthusiasm for Rugby World Cup 2015.
“We are fortunate to have such a great number of excellent facilities available to host the teams in 2015 and we are pleased to have a good range including rugby clubs, colleges, universities, schools and training centres on the approved list.
“Rugby is at the heart of all our planning and it is vital that in our role as the Organising Committee, we do all we can to ensure that we get the conditions absolutely right for the players to prepare for the premier event.
“We will continue to work with the team managers and look forward to confirming the final list of Team Bases by the middle of this year.”