Road to France 2025
1 December, 2022, 6:35 pm
Just over a week since the Kangaroos, Jillaroos and England Wheelchair teams were crowned World Champions in Manchester, details of IRL regional qualifying tournaments for France 2025 have now been finalised.
Brazil will join Canada, Jamaica and the US in the 2023 Americas Championship after winning the 2022 South Americas Championship played in Colombia last weekend.
With the World Cup having concluded a week earlier, International Rugby League is able to confirm the number of berths each region will have at France 2025 and the qualifying process for eligible nations.
In the men’s World Cup, Asia-Pacific will have six berths, Europe will have six berths, the Americas will have two berths and Middle East Africa will have one berth.
The 16th berth will be awarded to the winner of an inter-regional repechage between Cook Islands and the winner of the 2023 MEA Cup contested by Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa.
Australia, England, Fiji, Lebanon, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga automatically qualify after reaching the quarter-finals of RLWC2021 in England.
As the host nation, France also automatically qualifies for the 2025 World Cup.
All eight competing women’s teams at the recently concluded World Cup – Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cook Islands, England, France, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea – automatically qualify for France 2025.
Up to 19 nations will be involved in World Cup qualifying matches for the remaining eight women’s berths in France – the first time a qualifying process has been in place for women’s teams.
An expression of interest and invitation process will be used to determine the wheelchair finalists at France 2025. IRL chair Troy Grant said: “On behalf of International Rugby League, I would like to congratulate the Australian Kangaroos, Australian Jillaroos and England Wheelchair teams for winning their World Cup finals.
“I would also like to congratulate all 32 teams who took part in the three World Cups, the match officials and, in particular, RLWC2021 CEO Jon Dutton and his team for the success of the tournament.
“Despite the postponement caused by COVID, and other challenges, the World Cup in England was the biggest, best, and most inclusive yet, as rugby league was showcased in the most sensational fashion.
“We were able to demonstrate what rugby league offers across three disciplines, and we have so many new fans to the game because of the excitement, the wonderful competitiveness, and the awe-inspiring ability of those in the Wheelchair game.
“The Women’s tournament once again delivered, with the talent and skill of the players across the fastest growing part of international rugby league just wonderful to see.
“The remarkable scenes that we witnessed in the Men’s tournament, with the competitiveness of the teams in the quarterfinals, semi-finals and final, and the wonderful cultural contributions that a number of teams made, showcasing rugby league in its very best light.
“As the chair of International Rugby League, I couldn’t be more grateful or proud.
“We now look forward to France 2025 and during the next three years there will be enormous opportunities to continue the growth of international rugby league, with qualifying tournaments in each region of the globe.
“For the first time there will be a Women’s qualifying process, with teams from the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe and Middle East Africa playing off in regional tournaments for berths at France 2025.
“The men’s World Cup also has a meaningful and clearly defined qualifying path, with 20 nations involved in regional tournaments to determine the seven remaining berths for France 2025.
“After the difficulties of the past few years due to