World Rugby has concluded its first official coordination meetings in Paris since the hosting ball was passed from Japan 2019 to France 2023 earlier this month, with the international federation praising continued strong progress.

Working in the spirit of strong partnership, hosting preparation is gathering pace ahead of a big year in the tournament’s life cycle, culminating in the Rugby World Cup 2023 Pool Draw at the end of next year. 

With host city agreements continuing to be signed and the launch of a bold and ambitious manifesto in October, the France 2023 organising committee has set its sights on being the most impactful and sustainable Rugby World Cup ever.

In addition to key foundation planning updates, the organising committee outlined its vision for sustainability, cultural and social inclusivity – all of which will contribute to making France a model for future Rugby World Cup hosting. 

In line with this mantra, France 2023 will create a new blueprint for Rugby World Cup, engaging youth, uniting regions and communities, promoting unity through diversity while celebrating rugby’s values in a national and international societal context.

Highlights since July 2019

  • Host city agreements signed with Saint-Etienne, Lille, Nantes, Marseille, Nice and Toulouse
  • Launch of a bold and ambitious manifesto, setting out a blueprint for delivery, nationwide youth and community engagement and sustainability
  • Organising committee new headquarters on Avenue du Coq in Paris inaugurated as France relishes responsibility as current hosts
  • Handover from Japan 2019 to France 2023 at the Rugby World Cup final and World Rugby Awards in Tokyo
  • 1.7 million views of the ‘Rendez-vous en France en 2023’ video
  • More than one million fan registrations to the Rendez-vous en France en 2023 database

The World Rugby delegation, led by Chief Operating Officer Alan Gilpin, also highlighted strong progress in key revenue and budget underpinning areas, including the commercial, ticketing, travel and hospitality programmes.

Gilpin said: “From the beginning, France set out to present the most sustainable and innovative approach to Rugby World Cup and now that they are the current hosts, they are converting that promise into a reality. From the use of existing world-class venues to youth and community engagement, France 2023 is set to celebrate the future of our sport like never before.  

“It is clear throughout a packed schedule of detailed review meetings that excellent progress is being made all round and the nation is engaged behind a tournament that will deliver a new blueprint for future Rugby World Cup hosting. 

“Momentum is certainly building and through strong collaboration, significant progress will be made during the next 12 months – the first year as current hosts – which will define the eventual success of the tournament in a national and global context.”

France 2023 CEO Claude Atcher added: “The organisation of the Rugby World Cup in France in 2023 is a great honour, a chance and a great responsibility for our country. We are very happy after our meeting with World Rugby.

“After the handover with Japan, it is now our turn. We start this four-year work cycle, that will take us to 2023, with motivation and determination. Progress achieved to date and our project are in tune with our ambition: sustainability, inclusion, social duty. Rugby World Cup 2023 has to be an example, and a real contribution to the rugby and to the sport event organisation.

“We will succeed in this project thanks to the power of collective, and the power of convictions. From the very start of this adventure, we are resolved to build the best team, with deep commitment and boundless energy, to organise an unforgettable and impactful Rugby World Cup 2023.”