Stadiums across France will play host to the world’s best rugby teams and a number of stadiums used for the 2007 tournament again make the cut.
Will hosts France finally break their drought? Or will Steve Borthwick’s England revolution result in his team lifting the Webb Ellis Trophy?
Here’s everything you need to know about every venue.
Stade de Bordeaux
With a capacity of 42,060 the Stade de Bordeaux is home to the city’s Ligue 1 football club. Opening in 2015, this stadium hosted the semi-finals of the Top 14 play-offs that year.
This ground is known to host big occasions like in 2019 when Stade Toulousain took on Stade Rochelais in the Top 14 semi-finals in front of 42,071 fans (some in the standing section), an attendance that remains a record for this ground.
This stadium hosted five matches during Uefa Euro 2016 and has also hosted the French national football team and the Coupe de la Ligue final.
Ireland v Romania, Pool B, Saturday, Sept 9
Wales v Fiji, Pool C, Sunday, Sept 10
Samoa v Chile, Pool D, Saturday, Sept 16
South Africa v Romania, Pool B, Sunday, Sept 17
Fiji v Georgia, Pool C, Saturday, Sept 30
Stade Pierre Mauroy
The Stade Pierre Mauroy has a stadium capacity of 50,096. Like the Stade de Bordeaux this ground was built for the city’s football team Lille OSC, it premiered in August 2012 and three months later hosted its first rugby match as France matched up against Argentina.
Lille was a host city during 1991 Rugby World Cup when the Stade du Nord a venue which is around the corner was the venue for New Zealand’s quarter-final victory against Canada.
The same ingenious design of the stadium, which hosted Uefa Euro 2016 matches, can easily be configured in the same style for different events as one half of the pitch can be raised to slide over the other.
Stade Pierre-Mauroy has hosted a fair share of events including three Davis Cup finals, the knockout phase of Euro Basket 2015 and several high-profile music concerts.
France v Uruguay, Pool A, Thursday, Sept 14
England v Chile, Pool D, Saturday, Sept 23
Scotland v Romania, Pool B, Saturday, Sept 30
England v Samoa, Pool D, Saturday, Oct 7
Tonga v Romania, Sunday, Oct 8
Debuting in January 2016, the Ol Stadium has a capacity of 58,883 and is the home of Olympique Lyonnais. Since opening it has hosted a series of international events, including rugby.
OL Stadium had been open for only four months when the European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals were played at the new stadium. In November 2017, New Zealand defeated France in front of 58,607 fans. At the end of that season, OL Stadium was chosen as the venue for the Top 14 semi-finals.
The city has always had a rich rugby pedigree. This stadium hosted the Men’s Euro 2016 tournament and the Fifa Women’s World Cup in 2019, Wales and Australia are scheduled to line up in this year’s first World Cup match at the stadium.
Wales v Australia, Pool C, Sunday, Sept 24
Uruguay v Namibia, Pool A, Wednesday, Sept 27
New Zealand v Italy, Pool A, Friday, Sept 29
New Zealand v Uruguay, Pool A, Thursday, Oct 5
France v Italy, Pool A, Friday, Oct 6
Stade de Marseille
A historic stadium that has been renovated multiple times since it opened in 1937 and has a capacity of 67,847. Two quarter-finals at the 2007 Rugby World Cup were hosted here. As well as being the home ground of Olympique de Marseille this stadium hosted the Fifa World Cup in 1938 and 1998.
On 18 April, 2009, RC Toulonnais played their home Top 14 match against Stade Toulousain in front of 57,039 fans and have returned on a handful of occasions since. Four pool matches of this year’s world cup will be hosted here, including England-Argentina and France’s game against the Africa Cup 2022 winners, as well as the quarter-finals.
England v Argentina, Pool D, Saturday September 9
South Africa v Scotland, Pool B, Sunday September 10
France v Namibia, Pool A, Thursday September 21
South Africa vs Tonga, Pool B, Sunday Oct 1
Quarter-Final 1 (Winner Pool C vs Runner-up Pool D), Saturday October 14
Quarter-Final 3 (Winner Pool D vs Runner-up Pool C), Sunday October 15
Stade de La Beaujoire
This stadium opened in 1984 and it is the home of Ligue 1 side FC Nantes and was also used to host games during Euro 1984 and the World Cup in 1998 including Brazil’s 3-2 win over Denmark in the quarter-finals.
Stade de la Beaujoire played host to one of Rugby World Cup’s most iconic matches, as Fiji beat Wales to book their place in the quarter-finals.
It was the last match of three at the stadium during the 2007 Rugby World Cup, with England beating Samoa and a happier memory for Wales fans beating Canada 42-17.
The stadium first hosted a test on the 15th of November 1986, when France smashed New Zealand 16-3, and Les Bleus played six more matches at the venue, the last of which was a defeat to Fiji on 13 November 2010.
Ireland v Tonga, Pool C, Saturday September 16
Argentina v Chile, Pool D, Saturday September 30
Wales v Georgia, Pool C, Saturday October 7
Japan v Argentina, Pool D, Sunday October 8
Stade de Nice
This stadium is the home of Ligue 1 club OGC Nice and has a capacity of 35,983 seats and is another host venue for this year’s tournament. This ground will look familiar to those of you who watched the Euros in 2016 because it hosted games for the tournament and the Fifa Women’s World Cup in 2019.
The stadium did host one test game on 17 August, 2019, when Maxime Médard scored a brace of tries to help France defeat Scotland. RC Toulonnais have also played some Top 14 home matches at the stadium.
Stade de Nice is scheduled to host four matches during this World Cup with Wales, England, Japan, Italy and Scotland among the teams that will play on its manicured turf. England’s match with Japan on 17 September 2023, promises to be one not to miss as Eddie Jones comes up his old side.
Wales v Portugal, Pool C, Saturday September 16
England v Japan, Pool D, Sunday September 17
Italy v Uruguay, Pool A, Wednesday September 20
Scotland v Tonga, Pool B, Sunday September 24
Stade de France
This stadium was historically built for the 1998 Fifa World Cup and has been the national stadium for France ever since as well as the home for the country’s rugby team. Les Bleus first played here on 7 February 1998, when Philippe Bernat-Salles and the late Christophe Dominici both crossed the whitewash in a 24-17 defeat of England.
It has a capacity of 80,023 which is why it has been the stomping ground for so many big matches, in total, the Stade de France has hosted 97 men’s test matches — including an RWC 1999 quarter-final and the France 2007 final.
South Africa beat England in both of those matches, and the Springboks will return to the iconic stadium on 23 September 2023 to play Ireland — the first time that fixture will be played at Rugby World Cup.
This year this ground will host 10 matches at the World Cup, including a fan’s favourite opening match between Les Bleus and the All Blacks as well as both semi-finals, the bronze final and the final.
France v New Zealand, Pool A, Friday September 8
Australia v Georgia, Pool C, Saturday September 9
South Africa v Ireland, Pool B, Saturday September 23
Ireland v Scotland, Pool B, Saturday October 7
Quarter Final 2 (Winner Pool B vs Runner-up Pool A), Saturday October 14
Quarter-Final 4 (Winner Pool A vs Runner-up Pool B), Sunday October 15
Semi-Final 1 (Winner QF1 vs Winner QF 2), Friday October 20
Semi-Final 2 (Winner QF3 vs Winner QF 4), Saturday October 21
Friday, October 27
Saturday October 28
The Stade Geoffroy-Guichard is the oldest stadium selected for the World Cup and has a capacity of 42,152. It was opened on 13 September 1931, it has since undergone three renovations, each one ahead of its use at a major football tournament.
This stadium was first used by the nation’s Rugby team on 24 November 2001, when Les Bleus beat Fiji 77-10. Six years later, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard — named after the businessman who purchased the land on which it was built — hosted three RWC 2007 pool matches where Scotland appeared in two of those, beating Portugal and Italy.
The third pool match was between Samoa and the USA, which resulted in a 46-point thriller. Four matches are scheduled to be played at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard for the World Cup, with Australia, Argentina, Fiji, Italy and Samoa guaranteed to play in the ‘City of Design’.
Italy v Namibia, Pool A, Saturday September 9
Australia v Fiji, Pool C, Sunday September 17
Argentina vs Samoa, Pool D, Friday September 22
Australia v Portugal, Pool C, Sunday October 1
Stadium de Toulouse
This historic ground was originally built for the 1938 Fifa World Cup to be a host venue and has a capacity of 33,103. This stadium since then has had three renovations and staged matches when football’s global showpiece returned to France 60 years later, and again during Uefa Euro 2016.
This stadium has had a long association with rugby that spans over several decades, having served as a home for Stade Toulousain during Top 14 and European Champions Cup matches. France first played at Stadium de Toulouse on 15 December 1963, when Les Bleus were held to a 6-6 draw against Romania.
Fiji, Japan and the All Blacks are already locked in to return to Toulouse during the 2023 Rugby World Cup, while the likes of Namibia and Zimbabwe could join them should they qualify as Africa 1.
Japan v Chile, Pool D, Sunday September 10
New Zealand v Namibia, Pool A, Friday September 15
Georgia v Portugal, Pool C, Saturday September 23
Japan v Samoa, Pool D, Thursday September 28
Fiji v Portugal, Pool C, Sunday October 8