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- Australian rugby league coach and footballer
France’s director of rugby and Sydney Roosters head coach Trent Robinson is excited to be a part of the 2025 Rugby League World Cup.
The World Cup was this week confirmed to be heading to France in 2025, with 40 cities and towns set to act as hosts for the tournament.
Robinson, 43, was in charge of Catalans from 2011-12 in Super League before taking over at Sydney Roosters. He was appointed as France’s new director of rugby ahead of the 2021 World Cup, with the tournament set to take place later in 2022.
Robinson thrilled to be a part of 2025 tournament
“I’m very excited,” Robinson said on the Summer Breakfast show with rugby league journalist Andrew Voss.
“There’s been a really good push supported by Troy Grant from the International Rugby League. There was a desire from the French side to want to have the World Cup back there [for the first time] since 1972. The first ever World Cup in 1954 was in France.
“The trophy is a French trophy that we play for every World Cup.
“Getting it back was important. There’s a been a real resurgence in the last couple of years. Catalans Dragons making the Grand Final last year and Toulouse winning their way into Super League.
“It’s a real important period of time for French rugby league.”
Read: Full 61-match schedule confirmed for 2021 World Cup
2025 Rugby League World Cup to host four competitions
For the first time ever, France will bring together four competitions – men, women, wheelchair and youth.
This follows on from the trio of World Cups that will be hosted together in England in 2022.
128 matches will be held across 40 venues for five weeks from early October to mid-November in 2025.
“Most sports, they try and separate the different disciplines. Whether they might play the women’s competition before the men’s, or the Paralympics might be after the Olympics,” said Robinson.
“Whereas what we’re going to do in 2025 is run them concurrently. We’re going to have 40 different cities in France that are going to look after the competition.
“We’ll have men’s, women’s, youth and disability all playing at once and it’s a great showcase for rugby league in a country where it is a minor sport. For us to be able to showcase that in the world’s most visited country is pretty special.”
2025 Rugby League World Cup to increase community work
Robinson also discussed the community work that will be put into the tournament, with goals to increase involvement post-tournament.
He said: “When they go through the bid, the government obviously funds any of these major sporting events. They put a lot of emphasis on community, either jobs, community engagement and also participation.
“What we saw was how do we increase the participation in rugby league. What we want to see is the launchpad of rugby league get back to its prime that it was in the 50s and 70s in France and say look this is a French sport as well.
“We need to have success on the field but we also need to see progression through schools and local clubs.
“I think we’ve committed to a 25% increase in men’s rugby league and we’re sort of looking at 400% increase in women’s. There’s some big targets to hit. It’s not just about getting the World Cup on and thank you very much, we’re going to have to work hard in development which is a great thing.”
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