France is set to host the 2025 Rugby League World Cup, with the IRL confirming their decision on Monday morning.
France last hosted the tournament in 1972, while they also hosted the first Rugby League World Cup in 1954, a tournament they made the final of before going down to Great Britain 16 points to 12 in Paris.
France last made a final of the tournament in 1968 when it was hosted in Australia and New Zealand, with the final on that occasion seeing the Australians run out 20 points to 2 winners at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The 2025 tournament was originally set to be held in North America, however, after that plan fell over, the French put their hand up and the IRL have decided that, with the backing of the French Government, it's enough for the tournament to head to the European nation.
It will mark the first time the tournament hasn't been hosted by England, Australia or New Zealand since the last time France hosted in 1977, although all of Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Papua New Guinea were able to host select matches during the 2000, 2013 and 2017 editions which were hosted by England, England and a combined Australia and New Zealand respectively.
The IRL have held France as the preferred location for the 2025 tournament for some time, however, the backing of the French government saw the confirmation.
It's understood a press conference will be held on Tuesday (French time) which will confirm details of the tournament, with Paris set to host the opening match and final of the tournament. The tournament, for both men and women, is likely to see further expansion, with the 2021 edition going to 16 teams in the men's version, and eight teams in the women's version.
“The Prime Minister will announce the launch of the Rugby League World Cup, which will be organised by France in 2025,” an FFRXII statement said.
“This international event, which has not been organised in France for more than 50 years, will help promote the influence of French sport and is intended to irrigate the entire territory, by being organised in around 40 towns.”
It's understood France's proposal will add a youth World Cup, with the exact age group of players yet to be determined , while the men's and women's wheelchair World Cups will also be expanded.