The draw for the tournament will take place on Monday at 11 a.m.. 30 o’clock in the morning, Wales should avoid South Africa, England and New Zealand
The 2023 Rugby World Cup may be three years away, but after the draw on Monday, preparations will be in full swing.
The draw at Palais Brongniart in Paris on Monday marks the beginning of a few busy months for General Manager Claude Atcher and his Organizing Committee.
The full schedule of the tournament with dates and venues is expected to be announced at the end of February, while tickets for the tournament will go on sale in March. Paris, Nantes – site of Fiji’s famous 2007 win over Wales – Bordeaux and Toulouse were among the nine cities selected to host games.
Right at the top of Atcher’s agenda, however, is the opportunity to benefit emotionally and financially from an expected influx of fans from home countries. Atcher told Telegraph Sport that his organizing committee was considering planning « one or maybe two » of England’s pool games in the city of Lille.
Lille’s location in northern France, as well as its gastronomic appeal, means it would prove particularly convenient for attracting large numbers of English fans across the canal.
« Lille is a special place, » said Atcher. “Englishmen who come could be in Lille in an hour on the Eurostar. We’ll probably organize an England game or two there. We know that the English like to come to France for a weekend with good food and good wine. Lille is a good place for that. ”
International appeal is at the center of the nuanced challenge to the organizers, while at the same time it puts a passionate host nation into a rugby frenzy. While the French national team’s recent improvement has made the crescendo fit well with the climax of the tournament, Atcher is aware that RWC23 is far bigger and bigger than his perception within l’Hexagone.
“Of course we will use the French team to promote the tournament, but if the team does not reach the expected level we can only focus on managing a competition outside of the French team. To be honest, we’ve opened a special for those interested in 2023. We currently have more registrants from the UK than from France.
“The French team is important, of course, but we have 22 travel agencies around the world, which increased to 240 last November. 000 tickets bought – and we have 110. 000 expected. You’re right, the French team will be a strong supporter and driver of RWC23, but when things don’t go well we know we have other options to promote the tournament outside of the French team. ”
However, a burning question for Atcher, considering the tournament is more than three years away, is why the draw came so soon.
“For France in 2023 we have a very ambitious target in terms of ticket sales: 2. 6 million, ”adds Atcher. “The revenue and revenue that we expect from these sales amount to 373 million euros. For this reason, we have tried to minimize the risk of ticket sales and start ticket sales in March. And to do that, we need to have the draw two or three months in advance so that we have time to organize the full schedule.
“We also tried to minimize the risk, as the Olympic Games will take place in France in 2024 a year after us. They are likely to open their sales in early 2023, so we’re opening ours two and a half years earlier to minimize the risk of income and number of tickets sold. ”
Atcher also explains that while the impact of coronavirus on tournament planning, while not as severe as it otherwise would have been, means every penny counts. He was the main person in charge of planning the 2007 tournament, where insurance for cancellations due to special circumstances (typhoons and pandemics) would have had a very low priority. However, in 2023, organizers are taking no chances in a post-Covid and post-Typhoon Hagibis world.
« During the first phase of the lockdown, we did a very thorough budget review to assess and cover the risk that people would not have the same amount of money to buy tickets after the pandemic, » he adds. “That is why we have reduced the price for tickets in categories three and four by 20 percent and the preliminary participation from 94 to 90 percent. Mathematically speaking, we have a lower income of 38 million euros.
“We cut spending by 17 million euros so we covered the risk, and I also worked very hard on our sponsorship program. Last week we signed the first tier of eight sponsors, which is very good news.
“In 2007 we had cancellation insurance, but it did not cover a sanitary crisis. In April 2019 we decided to set this up because I had worked in Japan for eight years before the 2019 World Cup and knew that September was a bad month for the weather there. That is why we have taken out cancellation insurance for both 2019 and 2023.
« The company asked if we would like to treat pandemics and epidemics, and at the time I was just like, ‘Yeah, why not? «
France is getting used to hosting global sporting events. After the success of the Soccer World Cup in 1998, the Rugby World Cup in 2007 and the European Soccer Championship in 2016 followed. And a year after RWC 2023, the country will host the Olympics, but despite that experience, Atcher and his team are still learning from the strengths and weaknesses of previous tournaments.
“In 2023, one of our main goals is to make sure the Rugby World Cup can have a positive impact on the country and we are still exploring the legacy of the tournament three years in advance. In 2007 we only looked at the legacy of the tournament after that, which was a mistake.
“The 2016 European Football Championship was a great success, but football is not rugby and so it can sometimes be difficult to compare. For example, for RWC 2023, we are not obliging the cities to set up fan zones for the duration of the tournament. For the Euro in 2016, all host cities had to set up fan zones for at least 30 days. However, for some games they were empty and cost a lot of money for security, logistics, etc.. . We won’t do that in 2023. ”
With the Monday morning draw, Wales will benefit from the fact that due to the coronavirus pandemic, World Rugby selected teams for the draw based on their ranking in January 2020.
Leaderboards after fall internationals are usually used, but some teams like Japan and World Champions South Africa haven’t played this year.
Wales will be in volume one rather than volume three as the current rankings dictate, avoiding South Africa, England and New Zealand.
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2023 World Rugby Cup, 2023, Wales National Rugby Union Team, South Africa National Rugby Union Team, New Zealand National Rugby Union Team
World news – GB – Draw of the Rugby World Cup for 2023: England could have a pool game or two in Lille
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