Press Release

Regional berths and qualifying tournaments for France 2025 confirmed

Published by IntRL
28 Nov 2022

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 United States 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 and Nigeria and South Africa.

Australia, England, Fiji, Lebanon, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga automatically qualify after reaching the quarterfinals of RLWC2021 in England.


The Kangaroos beat Samoa in the World Cup final at Old Trafford.

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.


IRL Chair Troy Grant with HRH, The Princess of Wales, in Wigan.

“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.

Sipi Tau v Siva Tau
Tonga's Sipi Tau meets Samoa's Siva Tau before their epic quarter-final

“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 COVID and travel restrictions, the opportunities for international rugby league have never been greater as we prepare for the biggest and boldest World Cup yet in France in 2025.”    

2025 MEN’S WORLD CUP

All eight quarterfinalists at RLWC2021 – Australia, Samoa, New Zealand, England, Lebanon, Tonga, Fiji and Papua New Guinea - automatically qualify for France 2025, along with France, as the host nation.


France automatically qualify as the host nation

The regional berth allocation, confirmed in March, is:

  • EUROPE (6 berths)
  • ASIA-PACIFIC (6-7 berths)
  • AMERICAS (2 berths)
  • MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA (1-2 berths)
EUROPE (6 BERTHS)

Teams already qualified:

England
France

England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, Serbia, Spain and Wales will contest the 2023 European Championship A, to be played in two groups of four.

Qualifying process:
The 2023 European Championship A will act as a route to the 2024 European qualifying tournament for France 2025, which will also include teams from the 2023 European Championship B.

Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Norway and Ukraine will contest the 2023 European Championship B, to be played in two groups of three, for the right to advance to the 2024 European qualifying tournament.

Netherlands qualified for the 2023 European Championship B as 2021 European Championship D winner, ahead of Malta and Turkey, while Czech Republic, which finished second in Euro D, was invited to replace Russia, which has been suspended indefinitely from all international competition.

ASIA PACIFIC (6-7 BERTHS)

Teams already qualified:

Australia
Fiji
New Zealand
Papua New Guinea
Samoa
Tonga


Fiji were one of six quarterfinalists from Asia-Pacific

Qualifying process
Cook Islands
will enter an inter-regional repechage in 2024 for the final berth at France 2025.

AMERICAS (2 BERTHS)

Teams already qualified: Nil

Qualifying process:
The two highest placed teams from the 2023 Americas Championship will qualify directly for the 2025 World Cup in France.

The 2023 Americas Championship will be contested by Brazil, Canada, Jamaica and USA after Brazil won the 2022 South American Championship in Colombia on 25-27 November, ahead of Chile and Colombia.

MIDDLE EAST AFRICA (1-2 BERTHS)
Teams already qualified:

Lebanon

Qualifying process:
The highest finishing nation at the 2023 MEA Cup, from South Africa and 2022 MEA Championship finalists, Nigeria and Ghana, will enter an inter-regional repechage in 2024 for the final berth at France 2025.

2025 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP

All eight teams competing at RLWC2021 automatically qualify (subject to satisfying IRL development guidelines that are aimed at growing the women’s game in their country).


The Jillaroos won their third consecutive World Cup

The regional berth allocation, confirmed in March, is:

  • ASIA-PACIFIC (6 berths)
  • EUROPE (6 berths)
  • AMERICAS (3 berths)
  • MIDDLE EAST AFRICA (1 berth)
ASIA PACIFIC (6 BERTHS)

Teams already qualified:

Australia,
Cook Islands
New Zealand
Papua New Guinea

Qualifying Process:
Fiji,
Samoa and Tonga will play each other in the 2024 Asia Pacific Qualifying Tournament, with the two highest placed teams joining Australia, Cook Islands, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea in RLWC2025

EUROPE (6 BERTHS)

Teams already qualified:

England
France

Qualifying process:
In the Europe Qualifying Tournament, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Serbia, Turkey and Wales will play in one group of three and one of four in 2023, with the two highest placed finishers from each group qualifying for RLWC2025.

AMERICAS (3 BERTHS)

Teams already qualified:

Brazil
Canada


Brazil will return for their second World Cup at France 2025

Qualifying process:
Chile
, Jamaica and USA will play each other in 2024 in the Americas Qualifying Tournament, with the winner joining Brazil and Canada in RLWC2025

MIDDLE EAST AFRICA (1 BERTH)

Teams already qualified: Nil

Qualifying process:
In the Middle East Africa Qualifying Tournament in 2024, Cameroon, Ghana, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa will play in two groups of three followed by a final round, where Group A teams will play the corresponding finisher from Group B, with the competition winner qualifying for France 2025.

2025 Wheelchair World Cup


England won the Wheelchair World Cup final at Manchester Central

An expression of interest and invitation process will be used to determine the Wheelchair finalists at France 2025.

Photos: Getty Images

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