This year, France is hosting the rugby union World Cup for the second time, having previously staged the event in 2007. The tournament will run from 8 September to 28 October in 10 host cities: Paris, Saint-Denis, Lille, Nantes, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Saint-Etienne, Lyon, Marseille and Nice. In total, there will be 48 matches between the 20 best teams and 660 best players in the world.
2023 marks the bicentenary of the creation of rugby. The sport is currently booming around the world and gaining popularity among women and girls, so the World Cup in France is expected to be hugely popular, with an estimated 2.6 million fans (including 600,000 from outside France) and over 850 million TV viewers.
The French government, including the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is fully supporting France 2023 to make this event a success at every level, including well beyond the sporting aspect. During the competition, our diplomatic posts all over the world will be working to showcase the tournament beyond our borders. It will be an opportunity to promote France and its territories on the international arena, including in the economic sphere.
And for the first time, the Rugby World Cup will be an opportunity to provide unprecedented promotion of parasports, as the International Wheelchair Rugby Cup will take place in parallel, from 18 to 22 October 2023. Eight teams will compete for the title, including two-time European champions France.
The Rugby World Cup France 2023 organizers have made strong commitments in terms of social and environmental issues, including a pledge to deliver benefits for the sporting world and society as a whole. The tournament has an ambitious programme for emissions reduction and carbon absorption through the planting of trees, which aims to offset the event’s CO2 emissions, particularly as a result of players’ and fans’ air travel.
In recent years, France has been a favourite destination for hosting major international sporting events, and this tournament will help promote France as the organizer of a new competition model which is accessible, inclusive and sustainable. The Paris 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games will adopt the same approach.
More information on France’s sports diplomacy