- One-year milestone is being celebrated by the rugby family in France and abroad
- Tournament is the most popular Rugby World Cup in history with record demand for tickets as sales resume on 13 and 15 September
- World Rugby Rankings and recent international fixtures indicate the most competitive and open event to date
- Positive impact and legacy at the top of the event priorities
- Organisers aiming to create unforgettable moments for fans as tournament enters operational delivery phase
- Everyone invited to rugby’s 200th birthday celebrations
France 2023 looks set to smash all previous attendance records with organisers focused on creating exceptional fan experiences and transformational impact as Rugby World Cup 2023 celebrates one year to go.
The 10th edition of the biggest global gathering in rugby falls within rugby’s 200th birthday year. The tournament is on track to set new standards on and off the field, attracting and inspiring a new generation of fans and participants around the world, while engaging the whole of France to unify around the oval ball.
Marking the milestone on 8 September, a special video celebrating the ‘family’ of rugby fans worldwide and rugby’s sense of inclusivity will be shown on Rugby World Cup digital platforms and on TF1, the French free-to-air broadcast partner of the tournament.
The tournament is proving one of the most popular Rugby World Cup to date with unprecedented demand for tickets and record local public support. Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide have already joined the 2023 Family in anticipation of the next individual ticket sale phase taking place on 13 September (2023 Family) and 15 September (general public). According to a new study published today, the host nation has never been so engaged with the event and nine out of 10 people in France support the hosting of RWC 2023, while 75 per cent are planning to follow the tournament in stadia, on TV or through the media.
On the pitch, Rugby World Cup 2023 is expected to be the most open and competitive Rugby World Cup. Results during northern and southern international windows and the resulting changes to the World Rugby Men’s Rankings powered by Capgemini are pointing to more nations than ever having a genuine chance of reaching the knockout phase and lifting the Webb Ellis Cup on 28 October, 2023. It is also the first time that the men’s edition welcomes a new team since RWC 2011 with Chile’s first participation embodying rugby’s development worldwide.
Speaking ahead of the milestone, World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “With a year to go, we are really excited. There are steps forward with every tournament, but Rugby World Cup 2023 is certainly taking a giant leap for rugby. I have no doubt that it will be a transformative and spectacular event for fans with superb stadia, hugely engaged host cities and a celebratory feel as we mark 200 years of rugby.
“I also can’t remember a more competitive period of men’s test matches and that certainly whets the appetite, while Chile’s qualification for the first time reflects a sport that is experiencing rapid growth and they will be a fantastic story.
“Speaking as Chairman of World Rugby, but also as a fan, I believe that Rugby World Cup France 2023 will raise the bar and that is testament to all involved. We have a lot of hard work ahead of us and it is important that the tournament’s impact is deeper than unforgettable moments on the field. That is very much our focus working with the Organising Committee.”
New standards in fan experience, sustainability and player welfare will characterise not only a tournament that has players and fans at heart, but that aims to leave a tangible legacy on France, rugby and society. The ambitious CSR programme articulated around four key pillars which will ensure that France 2023 has a positive impact beyond the seven weeks of competition.
France 2023 Chairman, Jacques Rivoal said: “With precisely one year to go before the opening match between France and New Zealand, we are determined, more than ever, to make Rugby World Cup France 2023 an exceptional event, which will make a lasting impression both on and off the field.
“Along with World Rugby’s teams, we share the ambition to create unique moments of sport, emotions, and happiness, to connect France to the world. From our employees to the wider public, which awaits this event with enthusiasm, Rugby World Cup France 2023 aims to unite and share happiness with everybody!
The adventure of this Rugby World Cup 2023 shall endure afterwards, in our clubs, our territories, in our society for generations to come. Until the last whistle blow, our priority will be to think about everything to come post-2023 and to make of the event’s positive impact a tangible reality.”
The tournament now enters its operational delivery phase focusing on event readiness and with one objective in mind: being ready for an opening game between France and New Zealand – a match-up already rich with Rugby World Cup history – on 8 September, 2023.