WELLINGTON (AFP) – New Zealand Rugby League said yesterday it was in talks to jointly host the 2025 World Cup with Australia after France pulled out over financial concerns.
The 17th staging of the World Cup for the 13-a-side code was scheduled for October-November 2025 but France said on Monday that a lack of funding meant hosting the tournament carried unacceptable financial risk.
The game’s governing body, the International Rugby League, called the move “very disappointing”.
New Zealand Rugby League Chief Executive Greg Peters said they were interested in staging the event and have already discussed co-hosting with Australia.
“We are exploring the possibility of a southern hemisphere Rugby League World Cup (RLWC) as an alternative to France 2025,” Peters said in a statement carried by New Zealand media. “We’re keen to work with the ARLC (Australian Rugby League) to host the tournament in NZ and Australia and have started the conversations,” said Peters, calling it “an exciting proposition”.
Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea jointly hosted the 2017 RLWC.