France to host 2025 Rugby League World Cup

France will host the 2025 Rugby League World Cup, 71 years after hosting the inaugural tournament in 1954.

The tournament will consist of four versions of the World Cup format; men’s, women’s, wheelchair and youth, and will take place across 40 cities.

Luc Lacoste, president of the French Rugby League Federation, said: “It is wonderful news.

“We are extremely proud. Together, we will make France 2025 a huge success. The story starts today.”

France 2025, which will be staged in October and November, will be the 17th Rugby League World Cup and third in France following 1954 and 1972.

Following the announcement of the hosting by French Prime Minister Jean Castex, chief executive of the RFL Ralph Rimmer said: “I am delighted for Luc Lacoste and his team.”

Rimmer added: “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.

"With rugby league in France enjoying a golden year in 2021 this is another major boost to rugby league in Europe and the Northern Hemisphere."

Ralph Rimmer, Chief executive of the RFL

France bid for the event in July after initial plans for the tournament to be held in North America for the first time were scrapped.

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

France’s hosting of the World Cup will succeed the delayed 2021 staging, a tournament that was put back because of the Covid-19 pandemic and both Australia and New Zealand withdrawing from the initial scheduling.

Original article published 10.01.22 on the BBC Sport website

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