The Scottish Rugby Union has confirmed a feasibility study will be carried out to assess the country’s ability to co-host the 2015 World Cup.
A steering group, which met for the first time last month, will decide whether Scotland should bid for the event.
The body is chaired by Event Scotland and features representatives from the SRU, the Scottish Executive, Scottish Enterprise, Edinburgh city council, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and sportscotland.
The study will cover areas such as the cost of making an application, the bid structure, the ability to meet the criteria and the benefits of staging the competition.
Issues such as infrastructure, funding and the potential for the involvement of other home unions will also be considered.
A statement from the SRU read: "The steering group is expected to make its recommendations to Scottish Rugby and Scottish ministers in the summer of 2007.
"Conducting the feasibility study demonstrates Scotland’s ambition to bid for and stage major international events."
The Scots would face competition from Japan, who have announced their intention to bid after narrowly losing out to New Zealand in the race for the 2011 tournament.
Scotland’s chances were boosted by a successful Under-21 World Championship in the country in 2004.
International Rugby Board bosses expressed delight at the event, which saw attendances increase by more than a third on the previous tournament in England.
Murrayfield will be the venue for Scotland’s games against New Zealand and Romania at next year’s World Cup, which is mainly being held in France.
The Edinburgh stadium also staged World Cup clashes in 1991, when England were the chief hosts, and in 1999 when Glasgow’s Hampden Park and Netherdale in Galashiels were also used as the tournament was based in Wales.
Event Scotland has been involved in Glasgow’s ongoing bid to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the successful application to stage the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in the same year.