If you were busy making plans to take in the rugby league World Cup jamboree across the channel in 2025, you´d better put away those guidebooks and log-off the hotel booking sites, as it has officially been announced that France will no longer be the hosts, plunging the next tournament into some doubt.
In a press release issued today by France2025, it was announced that with regret, the organising committee have been unable to secure the backing necessary to guarantee the tournament and that they have therefore had to withdraw from the offer to host the tournament.
Planning for the 2025 Tournament is now in disarray.
The tournament was due to combine the Men´s, Women´s and Wheelchair competitions in the same way that last Autumn´s World Cup in the United Kingdom did, with games being hosted across major cites in France. It was planned to give the French game a massive boost as it became the centre of the rugby league world for a month of hard-fought fixtures.
The writing has been on the wall for several months, but the worst fears were finally confirmed today in a move which will embarrass French rugby league and see it take a massive backwards step.
The likelihood is that the tournament will now be moved into the southern hemisphere with either Australia or New Zealand being chosen as hosts for the competition, but the decision will need to be made quickly as there is a great deal of organisation which will be required over the next two and a half years.