France to stage Rugby League World Cup in 2025

France has been awarded hosting rights to the 2025 edition of the Rugby League World Cup.

The French Rugby League Federation announced the news on Friday, with a press conference set to take place tomorrow (Tuesday) to officially announce the event.

It will mark the third time that France has hosted the Rugby League World Cup and the first time since 1972. France is already set to host rugby union’s men’s World Cup in 2023, with Paris due to stage the Olympic Games the following year.

The announcement comes after Troy Grant, the newly-appointed chairman of the International Rugby League (IRL), confirmed last March that he would look to return the Rugby League World Cup to France. The country subsequently launched its official bid in July.

North America had been awarded provisional hosting rights to the tournament back in 2016 but financial problems led to this proposal being scrapped.

French rugby league is on the up after Catalans Dragons, which plays at the Stade Gilbert Brutus (pictured) reached the Super League grand final for the first time in 2021. Toulouse Olympique will also compete in the Super League this season after earning promotion from the Championship last year.

The Rugby League World Cup is held every four years. The 2021 event in England was postponed by 12 months after Australia and New Zealand said they would not participate due to COVID-19 concerns, and the tournament will now take place from October 15 to November 19 this year.

This year’s Rugby League World Cup in England will mark the first time that the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments have been held simultaneously. A total of 21 venues across England are due to stage matches, with Elland Road and Emirates Stadium among the non-rugby league stadiums that will play host.

Image: Gérard Barrau/CC BY-SA 3.0/Edited for size