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A Complete Guide to the Rugby World Cup Host Cities

21st September 2023 Print

The Rugby World Cup is now in full swing. Ever since France’s dominant performance against the All Blacks in the tournament’s opening game, the attention of the sporting world has firmly been fixed on France. 

With plenty of tickets still available, thousands of fans have rushed online to make sure they can catch a bit of the action in-person. Thinking of doing something similar? 

Well, we’ve taken a look at all the latest Rugby World Cup news and info. We’ve also analysed the fixtures and put together this comprehensive guide to each city that’s hosting matches. This way, you can find a fixture (and a city) that suit you. So, read below and start planning your trip today! 

Stade de France, Saint-Denis (Paris) 

The scene of France’s iconic victory over New Zealand, the Stade de France is a sporting cauldron and one of the best stadiums in the world. 

Iconic matches worth watching here include Ireland vs Scotland (which will likely decide who qualifies in second from Pool B), as well as both semi-finals and the final. 

When you’re not watching the rugby, you’ll be lost for things to do in Paris, too. Our picks remain the world-famous attractions, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum and the Palace of Versailles. 

Stade de Marseille, Marseille 

One of the oldest and largest stadiums in France, Stade de Marseille is one of the finest rugby grounds in the world. This year, this beloved venue is hosting four pool-stage games and two quarter-finals. The pick of these was arguably England vs Argentina, but you can still watch home favourites France take on Namibia, or see South Africa battle Tonga. 

While in the city, it’s also worth checking out the Old Port of Marseille and Calanques National Park. 

OL Stadium, Lyon

OL Stadium is the third-largest ground in France and it will undoubtedly be packed to the rafters when home favourites France take on Italy on the 6th of October. Other games you can take in here include New Zealand vs Italy and the All Blacks vs Uruguay. 

Elsewhere in Lyon, it’s well worth visiting the Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourviere and the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon. 

Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille

Lille’s Stade Pierre-Mauroy will host a clutch of exciting matches during the Rugby World Cup, but our pick of the ties is undoubtedly England vs Samoa. Searching for a cheap ticket? Tonga vs Romania is likely your best bet. 

While you’re in the city you certainly won’t be short of things to see and do. Make sure you visit Vieux-Lille and The Grande Place. 

Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux 

In the first round of matches, Ireland hammered Romania 82-8 at Stade de Bordeaux. Thankfully, it looks as though the stadium is set to host some matches that will be a lot tighter (and cheaper for fans to watch), including Samoa vs Chile and Fiji vs Georgia. If you’d like to watch one of the ‘big teams’ in action, it’s worth looking for tickets for South Africa vs Romania. 

During your stay in the city, make sure you visit the Water Mirror and St. Andre Cathedral. 

Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne 

Stade Geoffroy-Guichard is affectionately nicknamed ‘the cauldron’. As you may expect, it offers a great atmosphere that’s well worth sampling. Plus, this stadium is a particularly good option if you’d like to see one of the tournament’s marquee matches. The pundits are incredibly excited for Argentina vs Samoa. 

While you’re in Saint-Etienne, it’s well worth taking a look at the city’s many museums, including the mining museum, the planetarium and Musee des Verts, a museum that’s dedicated to the Saint-Etienne football team.  

Stade de Nice, Nice 

Unlike many of the venues on this list, Stade de Nice has never hosted a game at a major rugby tournament (although it has hosted major concerts from the likes of Beyoncé and Jay-Z). The pick of the four games here is Scotland vs Tonga, which promises to be very physical. 

During your stay in the city, be sure to visit Nice Old Town and Promenade des Anglais. 

Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes 

Stade de la Beaujoire is an historic and decorated stadium in Nantes that will host four pool-stage games at the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Although you can catch both Wales and Ireland matches here, we think the pick of the games is the clash between Japan and Argentina, as this could decide which of these teams qualifies for the quarter-finals. 

An incredibly cultured city packed with museums, we also recommend that you visit Jardin des Plantes and Les Machines de l'Île during your stay in Nantes. 

Stadium de Toulouse, Toulouse 

Stadium de Toulouse is one of the oldest stadiums in France and was initially built for the 1938 FIFA World Cup. In 2007, it hosted two of the Rugby World Cup’s best games: France vs Namibia and New Zealand vs Romania. This year, the pick of the ties is Japan vs Samoa. 

While in Toulouse for your chosen game, make sure you visit Le Capitole and the Church of Les Jacobins.

In truth, no matter which city you visit or which game you attend, you’re guaranteed to have a great time over in France. So, why not book your tickets today and start planning your trip?