France To Host 2025 Rugby League World Cup
France has been awarded the rights to host the 2025 Rugby League World Cup more than 70 years after the country hosted the inaugural edition of the event in 1954.
The 2025 Rugby League World Cup in France will take place from October to mid-November in 2025, with the event to take place across 40 French cities, featuring men’s, women’s, wheelchair, and youth tournaments.
The event adds to France’s major international sporting events scheduled over the next few years, with the nation already set to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup, and the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.
French Prime Minister, Jean Castex, said the confirmation of the hosting rights was confirmed with an agreement signed between International Rugby League (IRL) president, Troy Grant, and France 2025 managing director, Michael Wiener.
“France is a land of major sporting events, which represent a tremendous asset for economic appeal and social cohesion in our regions,” Castex said.
“Hosting of the Rugby Union World Cup in 2023 and the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024 are spearheads of this policy, carried out jointly by the state and communities.
“The Rugby League World Cup, which will be organised in 2025 by France, is a great opportunity for the many regions and cities that wish to engage in this dynamic and I support it wholeheartedly,” he said.
IRL president, Troy Grant, said: “The rebirth of international rugby league in France has been a strategic goal of our sport for many decades and I am delighted that it will now become a reality through this award of the 2025 World Cup to France.”
“As the sport’s international federation, International Rugby League is so pleased to be able to bring the world cup home, to where it all began with the first world cup in 1954, and in keeping with that historic theme, for the very first time there will be four competitions – Men, Women, Wheelchair and Youth – truly a Rugby League World Cup for everyone, and for all of society.
“We are very grateful to the French government and all the regions, cities and towns for the strong support they have given to our outstanding French bid team and we can’t wait to welcome visitors from across the globe to this wonderful country.
“This 2025 World Cup journey will allow us to build on the already strong bond that exists between rugby league and France, but also to deepen rugby league’s presence in and throughout the country,” Grant said.
The 2025 World Cup will be the first time youth rugby league will be included in the international event, with the event to also double the number of women’s and wheelchair teams from eight to 16, equalling the number for the men’s competition.
It is expected the opening event and grand final of every category of the 2025 Rugby League World Cup will be held in the French capital, Paris.