FFR reveals 12 proposed host cities for 2023 Rugby World Cup
The French Rugby Federation has today revealed the 12 cities which will stage matches if the country wins it bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023.
France is competing against Ireland and South Africa for the right to stage the tournament.
The 12 cities are: Bordeaux (Malmut Atlantic), Lens (Bollaert-Delelis Stadium), Lille Metropole (Stadium Pierre-Mauroy), Lyon (Parc OL), Marseille (Orange Velodrome), Montpellier (Stadium Masson), Nantes (Stadium de la Beaujoire), Nice (Allianz Riviera), Paris, Saint-Denis (Stade de France), Saint-Etienne (Stadium Geoffroy-Guichard) and Toulouse (Stadium de Toulouse).
Lille Metropole and Nice are the only two of the 12 cities that did not stage a match when France last hosted the tournament a decade ago.
In the 2007 edition of the Rugby World Cup, Cardiff, Wales and Edinburgh in Scotland, also staged matches from the tournament.
The FFR selected the cities based on a criteria of:
• Host cities mobilised and expert in hosting international events
Bernard Laporte, the new president of the FFR, said: “We were able to see from the reading of the commitments received that the French candidacy has met with wide support among the elected representatives of the major French cities and metropolises and it is for us an essential support in the bid file.”
Bid director Claude Atcher, a former France international, has previously claimed that with three million tickets to sell, the FFR could make €300 million ($320 million) in ticket revenues and a profit of around €200 million from hosting the tournament.
Atcher has also cited a recent report on the Uefa 2016 European Championships in France, which generated an economic impact of €1.22 billion for the host country, noting: "In 2007 [Rugby World Cup], we had more than €500 million of economic spin-offs for France. By 2015, England approached one billion and the economic benefits of Euro 2016 exceeded €1 billion. The state and especially the cities are fully aware of this. They are aware of the impact on the use of hotels, restaurants and tourism."
A technical review group from World Rugby, the sport’s international governing body, will visit France to examine its bid on 30 and 31 March, following its visit to Ireland on 21 and 22 March.
This week, World Rugby undertook its first host candidate visit in South Africa.
All three countries must submit their bid documents to World Rugby by 1 June, with the host country to be announced on 15 November.