European Rugby League chair Dean Andrew, OBE has expressed his disappointment at the cancellation of the 2025 Rugby League World Cup in France, but believes the sport there still has a bright future.
“While the withdrawal of French government support for the Rugby League World Cup 2025 is understandable, it still comes as a huge disappointment,” he acknowledged. “French Rugby League is entering a new era under the dynamic leadership of its president Luc Lacoste and RLWC2025 was a significant milestone in that process.
“I would like to acknowledge the exceptional work that Luc and his World Cup team have invested in trying to bring the project to fruition under the most difficult of economic circumstances. The plans for the tournament were excellent, but against the global financial climate securing the necessary support proved impossible.
“The French Rugby League Federation play an incredibly important role in European rugby league and having seen their future plans I hope that their ambitions and desire to continue to grow and develop the sport in France are not dampened by this set back, and we look forward to continuing to support them.”
The International Rugby League board meets tomorrow (Wednesday) to further appraise the situation, with the board of European Rugby League convening on Friday. Dialogue between the two organisations will take place during this week with regards to the planned WC qualifying events scheduled to start later this year, with more information to follow.