France is to be the sole host of the Rugby League World Cup for the third time stepping in for the 2025 edition after the United States and Canada pulled out due to financial reasons.
The French hosted it on their own in 1954 and 1972 and were co-hosts for the 2000 and 2013 renewals with the United Kingdom and Ireland.
The 2025 championship will be a genuine festival of the sport with the men, women, wheelchairs and youth versions taking place over five weeks, the French Rugby League federation said in a statement.
The matches will take place in 40 towns across the country.
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“France-2025 will be a tournament for the people,” the federation said.
“The average price of a ticket will be less than 30 euros and therefore will permit all levels of society to be part of this party.”
France — which has 13,000 licensed players spread over 170 clubs including 22 women’s teams — is yet to win the title though they reached the 1954 and 1968 finals.
However, two franchises Catalan Dragons and Toulouse Olympique compete in the Super League with the Perpignan-based Dragons reaching the Grand Final last term.
The Dragons have established themselves as a top half side with the added allure of attracting some of the highest attendances.
The 2021 World Cup being hosted by England had to be postponed to this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and will run from October 15 to November 19.