France to host 2025 Rugby League World Cup

·2-min read

France have won the right to host the 2025 Rugby League World Cup, the first time the country will have staged the global event for more than half a century.

The French Federation declared the news on Friday, saying that a press conference would be staged in Paris next Tuesday where French Prime Minister Jean Castex would announce details.

A statement from the Federation said: "The Prime Minister will announce the launch of the Rugby League World Cup, which will be organised by France in 2025.

"This international event, which has not been organised in France for more than 50 years, will help promote the influence of French sport and is intended to incorporate the entire territory, by being organised in around 40 towns."

The 2025 World Cup was due to become the first to be held in North America, which was provisionally awarded the tournament in 2016, but those plans were scrapped due to financial concerns.

Australia's new International Rugby League chair Troy Grant announced last March his intention to take the World Cup back to France and the bid was officially launched in July.

It will be the 17th edition of the World Cup, which was first held in France in 1954 and again in 1972.

It will be the third major sports event to be held in France in consecutive years, following the rugby union World Cup in 2023 and the Olympics in Paris in 2024.

The news also comes on the back of an upturn in fortunes of French Rugby League after a 2021 season in which Catalans Dragons reached a first Super League grand final and Toulouse Olympique gained promotion to the top flight.

There will be just three years in between the next two tournaments after the England-hosted 2021 World Cup was put back 12 months due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

England have pledged to make this year's event the biggest and best World Cup while France have stated their intention to top that, with 16 teams in each of the men's, women's, wheelchair and youth competitions.

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