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England pick seaside town as Rugby World Cup base camps revealed

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Alex Davidson/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

England have chosen a coastal base camp that looks across the Channel to Hastings for the duration of their pool games at next year’s Rugby World Cup in France. Each qualified team was offered three options and Eddie Jones’ squad have decided to be based at Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, a small seaside town, to prepare for the group matches versus Argentina, Japan, Chile and Samoa.

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Defending champions South Africa have also taken up accommodation on the coast, with Toulon named as their base camp. However, the scenery will be very different for the Lyon-based All Blacks and host nation France, who will be based at Rueil-Malmaison on the outskirts of Paris.

A World Rugby statement read: “Team preparations for Rugby World Cup 2023 in France have marked a major milestone with each qualified team selecting their team base camp, their home away from home during the pool phase.

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“Central to performance and the nationwide rugby festival, team base camps will provide communities throughout France the opportunity to share in the excitement of Rugby World Cup, and teams with access to the very best of facilities.

“Nine French regions have been designated to welcome and host the participating teams and they will be at the heart of a Rugby World Cup that will mean that more people across the nation can engage with rugby’s pinnacle event.

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“The team base camp choices are the result of a detailed process started in 2019 by the France 2023 organising committee and have performance at their core. The process started with a ‘call for expression of interest’ which led to an incredible 89 applicants across the country. Following the initial application phase, a pre-selection was undertaken based on two major objectives:

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“To offer high-level facilities for qualified teams to prepare and train during Rugby World Cup 2023 in the optimum performance environment; and to optimise teams travel based on their pool phase matches, with an emphasis on train travel to minimise carbon emissions in line with the tournament’s ambition

“Following an extensive technical evaluation and visits from November 2021 to January 2022 by team representatives, each qualified team was presented with three base camp options, with a final decision made by the team itself.

“The last team base camp will be announced later this year once the final qualified team has a chance to visit the facilities. The 20th and final qualifier in Pool C will be known after the conclusion of the final qualification tournament in Dubai this weekend.”

Rugby World Cup 2023 – Base camps
POOL A

New Zealand: Lyon (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes)
France: Rueil-Malmaison (Ile-de-France)
Italy: Bourgoin-Jallieu (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes)
Uruguay: Avignon (Provence)
Namibia: Aix les Bains (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes)

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POOL B
South Africa: Toulon (Région Sud)
Ireland: Tours (Centre-Val de Loire)
Scotland: Nice (Région Sud)
Tonga: Croissy sur Seine (Ile-de-France)
Romania: Libourne (Nouvelle-Aquitaine)

POOL C
Wales: Versailles (Ile-de-France)
Australia: Saint-Étienne (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes)
Fiji: Bordeaux (Nouvelle-Aquitaine)
Georgia: La Rochelle – Ile de Ré (Nouvelle-Aquitaine)
Final Qualifier: TBC

POOL D
England: Le Touquet-Paris-Plage (Hauts-de-France)
Japan: Toulouse (Occitanie)
Argentina: La Baule-Escoublac (Pays de la Loire)
Samoa: Montpellier (Occitanie)
Chile: Perros-Guirec (Bretagne)

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