The 2025 Rugby League World Cup to be held in France from October to mid-November 2025, and for the first time will come in four forms: men’s, women’s wheelchair and youth, across 40 cities through the country; France are already hosting 2023 Rugby Union World Cup and 2024 Paris Olympics
By Michael Cantillon
Last Updated: 11/01/22 12:23pm
France will host the 2025 Rugby League World Cup, 71 years after putting on the sport’s first showpiece tournament in 1954.
On Tuesday, French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced alongside minister for sport Roxana Maracineanu that the country would host the tournament from October to mid-November 2025.
The hosting arrangement for the 17th RL World Cup was confirmed by an agreement signed between Troy Grant, president of the International Rugby League (IRL) and Michel Wiener, managing director of France 2025.
France 2025 will host four versions of the World Cup format: men’s, women’s wheelchair and youth, and will be spread across 40 cities throughout the country.
The announcement comes with France already hosting the Rugby Union World Cup in September/October 2023, and the 2024 Paris Olympics and Paralympics.
“France is a land of major sporting events, which represent a tremendous asset for economic appeal and social cohesion in our regions, PM Castex said on Tuesday.
“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.”
President of the International Rugby League Grant added: “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.
RLWC2021 fixtures and venues
All of the fixtures for the postponed men’s, women’s and wheelchair Rugby League World Cups being held in England later this year.
“As a sport, we are proud to complete a trifecta of major world sporting events in this magnificent French decade of sport and help celebrate a wonderful, proud and dynamic nation through an unforgettable celebration of rugby league”
Luc Lacoste, president of the French Rugby League Federation, said: “With this announcement of the return of the Rugby League World Cup to its homeland of France, it is wonderful news.
“We are extremely proud for them to see this magnificent event being launched today.
“Together, we will make France 2025 a huge success. The story starts today.”
Rimmer: A major boost to European rugby league
Ralph Rimmer believes the decision to award the 2025 Rugby League World Cup to France is another boost for the sport in Europe and the Northern Hemisphere.
RFL chief executive Rimmer was a member of the International Rugby League sub-committee which worked on the French bid.
On the back of a year which saw Catalans Dragons reach a maiden Super League Grand Final and clinch the League Leaders’ Shield, as well as Toulouse Olympique win promotion from the Championship, he expects this news to further enhance rugby league’s growth.
“I am delighted for Luc Lacoste and the team he has assembled that they have secured the right to host the 2025 Rugby League World Cup,” Rimmer said.
“It was the imagination and determination of French Rugby League pioneers such as Paul Barriere which established our sport’s World Cup in 1954, and it has taken similar qualities to allow this announcement to be made 50 years since France last staged the competition in 1972.
“With rugby league in France enjoying a golden year in 2021, their wheelchair team ranked No. 1 in the world, and Toulouse Olympique joining the Catalans Dragons in the forthcoming Betfred Super League season, this is another major boost to rugby league in Europe and the Northern Hemisphere.
“Working with Luc and his team over recent months has been a pleasure. Along the way, they also have forged strong partnerships with, and won the confidence of, the French national and regional governments. They are a very focused and impressive unit.”
Source : Sky Sports