Preparations for France’s hosting of Rugby World Cup 2023 continue to gather pace with World Rugby delighted with strong progress following the first official coordination meetings of the year in Paris.
With France set to receive the hosting rights ‘pass’ from Japan in less than nine months, the World Rugby delegation, led by Chief Executive Officer Brett Gosper and Tournament Director Alan Gilpin, praising the organising committee for achievement of key foundation deliverables over the past four months, including:
- Launch of a striking new logo and visual identity that embodies the vision, passion and unity of a tournament that brings France and the world together through rugby and its character-building values.
- Detailed host venue visits undertaken in January by a technical delegation, reinforcing World Rugby’s belief that France 2023 will have teams and fans at the heart of a nationwide celebration of rugby
- Strong initial masterplan and roadmap guiding all aspects of foundation planning and operational delivery, including the process for selection of team base camps, and planning for the marketing and ticketing programmes
- Evolution of the organising committee with key appointments completed and further recruitment planned as the organisation makes the transition from future to current host in late 2019
- Strong budget progress that will underpin the successful delivery of the tournament for rugby and the host nation
Gosper said: “We enjoyed two days of productive meetings with our friends from the France 2023 Organising Committee, and it is clear that hosting preparations are in an excellent place.
“Driven by strong partnerships, a common goal and a clear roadmap, we believe that France 2023, a tournament that will celebrate 200 years since William Webb Ellis picked up the ball at Rugby School, will be an exceptional Rugby World Cup.”
The year ahead will be an important one in France’s hosting lifecycle as the team base camp host selection process begins, venue preparations continue and the formal hosting handover takes place at the end of Rugby World Cup 2019.
Gilpin added: “This is a big year for the organising committee that will culminate with the transition from future to current hosts after the Rugby World Cup 2019 final.
“It is highly-encouraging to see such strong progress made in key areas from budget management to venue preparation and host city engagement, and in many respects they are ahead of previous hosts at this point in the hosting cycle.
“There are a number of important and exciting milestones this year, including the launch of the team base camp selection process that will provide the platform for the teams to perform to their very best. We look forward to continued excellent engagement with our friends at the organising committee, local and national government.”
With awareness of France’s hosting high and excitement beginning within the host nation, the France 2023 Organising Committee is focused on ensuring that Rugby World Cup 2023 is a tournament for all of France, while showcasing the best of France to visiting teams and fans.
France 2023 organizing committee CEO Claude Atcher said: "I am proud of the endorsement by World Rugby at the February 12-13 coordination meetings of the progress that we have achieved in recent months. This highlights the work of the entire team and the professionalism of the organizing committee of Rugby World Cup France 2023.
"Our message to the unions, teams and fans is that they can be certain that we will continue to work to make this Rugby World Cup a unique and special experience.”