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    A Guide to the 2023 RWC

    Everything you need to know about France’s upcoming festival of rugby union and culture
    28 August, 2023

    The hotly anticipated tenth edition of the Rugby World Cup kicks off in less than two weeks’ time in Paris with the mouthwatering opening clash between the hosts and New Zealand.

    Taking place less than a year before the 2024 Paris Olympics and constituting the third time France has either hosted or co-hosted a Rugby World Cup, we can rest assured that we’re in experienced and capable hands.

    Marking the 200th year since the game was invented, when William Webb Ellis allegedly picked up and ran with the ball during a football match at Rugby School, there is a certain historical significance attached to proceedings this time round.

    However, with medals made from over 200,000 recycled mobile phones, a first-ever official Rugby World Cup podcast and the innovative Campus 2023 programme, it’s assured that the tournament also reflects the modern world’s priorities of embracing sustainability, protecting the environment and raising inclusivity and accessibility levels.

    France 2023 has also been confirmed as the fastest-selling Rugby World Cup of all time, with all available matchday tickets being sold out a year before a try has been scored. Around two-and-a-half million tickets have been sold to date and over half a million travelling fans are expected to descend on the land of Liberté, Egalité and Fraternité.

    Where and When

    Nine host cities throughout France are set to be home to the action from the 8th of September through to the 28th of October when the final will take place at the Stade de France. From north to south, the host cities include Lille, Paris, Nantes, Lyon, Saint-Etienne, Bordeaux, Nice, Toulouse and Marseille.

    The Format

    20 nations will compete for the William Web Ellis trophy with every team starting the tournament within one of four pools of five teams. The top two from each group advance to the Quarter Final stage, which takes place over the weekend of the 14th and 15th of October in Marseille and Paris.

    The resulting semi-finals are on the following Friday and Saturday evenings before the final takes place on Saturday the 28th of October. The Stade de France will host both the semi-finals and the final, as well as the bronze medal match on the Friday before the finale.

    Defending champions South Africa are in Pool B, alongside Scotland and the world’s top-ranked team Ireland. Wales will line up against Australia in Pool C, while England’s Pool D includes Japan, Argentina and Chile, who are set to make their first-ever appearance at a World Cup, having qualified ahead of both the USA and Canada.

    Additional Experiences

    Being in one of Europe’s most bountiful countries, visitors and supporters will have an abundance of things to do alongside spectating their favourite teams. Here at Blend Group, we are specialists in organising bespoke, luxury experiences for our valued clientele.

    Fancy a game of golf, a luxury catamaran voyage or a vineyard tour whilst in France? We’ll source experiences to suit your exact requirements. We can also incorporate fine-dining experiences into your bespoke trip, allowing you to enjoy the very best of the famous French cuisine.

    For some inspiration, check out our Insights on luxury French chateaus you could stay in and some of the lesser-known French wine regions you could take in during your stay.

    With 48 matches to be played in nine impressive stadiums, the upcoming RWC 2023 will be a magnificent spectacle. At Blend Group we can create an experience that is tailored specifically to you, with access to all Rugby World Cup hospitality packages.

    Blend Group
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