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Prime Minister Mr Jean Castex announced on Tuesday 11 January, 2022, that France will be the host country of the Rugby League World Cup, which will take place in 2025, in the presence of Ms. Roxana Maracineanu, Minister delegate for Sport. This announcement follows the signing between Hon. Troy Grant, President of the International Rugby League (IRL) and Michel Wiener, Managing Director of France 2025, of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) attributing organisation of this World Cup to France.

France 2025 will simultaneously bring together four competitions: women, men, wheelchair and youth.

Inclusion is a value upheld by rugby league, which is why the format of this 17th edition of the World Cup will be completely new.

The competition will take place in 40 cities across France, in particular in the medium-sized cities which make up the wealth of our regions: France 2025 will be the World Cup of the regions. Owing to facility capacity, major cities will be selected to hold the semi-finals and finals. Designed as an ecologically and economically responsible project, France 2025 will act as an accelerator for the economy, tourism, employment and vocational training, thanks to the direct and indirect benefits generated by organisation of the competition and the 2,000+ professional training opportunities which will be created by France 2025 between 2023 and 2025.

These are the challenges and requirements of the country as well as its host regions for the World Cup, which were presented during an opening round table by Ms Caroline Cayeux, President of the Cities of France, Mr Kamel Chibli, Vice-President of the Regions of France, Mr Luc Lacoste, President of the French Rugby League Federation, Mr Claude Revel, President of GIE France Sport Expertise and Mr Thierry Teboul, Managing Director of AFDAS training agency.

This event will be a great public celebration that will showcase the diversity of our country’s regions. The delegations will arrive in October 2025 and the competition will run for five weeks until mid-November 2025. Starting at the end of 2023, nearly one million tickets will go on sale for the stadiums and arenas (where the wheelchair competitions will take place). 100,000 supporters from all over the world are expected to follow France 2025.

France 2025 will be the people’s competition. The average price of a ticket will be less than 30 Euro, enabling all audiences to take part in this celebration.

Organisation by France of this 2025 World Cup clearly reflects the new direction that French Rugby League has taken since the December 2020 election of Luc Lacoste as President of the French Federation. This election marks the desire of international bodies (IRL at a global level and ERL at a European level) to make France a new stronghold in the development strategy of rugby league worldwide.

“France is a land of major sporting events, which represent a tremendous asset for economic appeal and social cohesion in our regions. 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.” Jean Castex, Prime Minister

“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, not only to share our exciting & accessible sport but also to enjoy world class tourism, rich cultural experiences and the unique atmosphere of France and its people.

“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. 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”. Troy Grant, Chair International Rugby League

“With this announcement of the return of the Rugby League World Cup to its homeland of France, it is wonderful news that is shaping up today for our sport, the French Rugby League Federation, and especially for the clubs, managers, members and volunteers. We are extremely proud for them to see this magnificent event being launched today. First and foremost, it belongs to them.

“What a journey we have taken in less than a year. It was a commitment to the world of French rugby league; it is now becoming a reality.

“The very design of the project opens up great prospects for the development of this sport in multiple regions and with a large and diverse audience.