French prime minister hails award of 2025 Rugby League World Cup

French prime minister Jean Castex has hailed the awarding of the 2025 Rugby League World Cup as a “great opportunity” for the country.

In a press conference on Tuesday morning in Paris, it was confirmed that the 17th edition of the World Cup will see the tournament return to where it started in 1954.

Castex was in attendance to announce France as the host country, and reveal plans for the biggest World Cup yet with four different events spread across 40 cities.

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

“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.”

The tournament will bring together four competitions, with women’s, men’s, wheelchair and youth events.

Organisers plan 128 matches in 40 cities, with a focus on medium-sized cities to make France 2025 “the World Cup of the regions”, although the semi-finals and finals will be in major cities.

The competition will last five weeks in October and November 2025, with nearly a million tickets to go on sale from the end of 2023 and 100,000 hoped to travel to France from around the world.

Emphasising the intention for the World Cup to be “the people’s competition”, the average price of a ticket will be less than 30 euros.

“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,” said Luc Lacoste, the president of the French Rugby League federation.

“We are extremely proud for them to see this magnificent event being launched today. First and foremost, it belongs to them.”