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World Rugby assess French progress

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All eyes on Japan 2019... but World Rugby still found time to assess French foundations for 2023

World Rugby has praised continued strong hosting progress after the latest round of Rugby World Cup 2023 coordination meetings in Paris this week.

France will assume the status of current hosts from Japan on November 2, and the World Rugby delegation, led by tournament director Alan Gilpin, praised the organising committee for strong foundation planning progress, including:

  • Strong foundation planning across all functional areas, laying the foundations for a very successful and special tournament;
  • Excellent local and central government relationships and host city support, ensuring teams, fans and the wider French public will be at the heart of the tournament;
  • Strong 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;
  • Strong budget progress that will underpin the successful delivery of the tournament for rugby and the host nation;
  • Detailed ticketing and marketing strategy planning, driving engagement and access to rugby’s showcase event;
  • 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.

At the end of last year, World Rugby, in partnership with the organising committee, launched a striking new logo and visual identity that embodies the vision, passion and unity of a tournament that will bring France and the world together through rugby and its character-building values.

Further momentum is being generated across venues and host cities following detailed technical venue visits and progression of host city agreements. These components will be the heartbeat of a tournament that teams and fans at the heart of a nationwide celebration of rugby.

Gilpin said: “We enjoyed very productive meetings with our friends at the France 2023 Organising Committee, and with a little over four years to go it is clear that hosting preparations continue to be advancing rapidly.

“It is highly-encouraging to see such strong progress made across all key areas from venues preparation and host city engagement to marketing and budget management, and in many respects, they are ahead of previous hosts at this point in the hosting cycle.

“This year culminates with the transition from future to current hosts after the Rugby World Cup 2019 final on November 2 and we are confident that we will launch into a new hosting cycle anticipating a truly superb tournament that will be team and fan centric.”

France 2023 organising committee CEO Claude Atcher said: “We have a great ambition for the Rugby World Cup 2023. This event will represent the whole of France, because it will be a societal event. This is why we have chosen to work very early and to unite all our partners, but also many personalities for whom rugby means much more than a sport.

“This preparation time is also an opportunity to involve the French population closer to the field. In the coming weeks, the first agreements with the host cities and regions will be signed, which will launch our programmes in all territories very concretely.

“Our projects are progressing at a good pace and I commend the dedication of the entire France 2023 team. The handover in Japan in November will be a symbolic moment and very strong – we will have in our hands the organization of this wonderful event. From that moment, we will realise our ambition to create our community of fans, young people and families.”

WATCH: The first part of the RugbyPass documentary on what fans can expect in Japan at the 2019 finals

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All eyes on Japan 2019... but World Rugby still found time to assess French foundations for 2023