All Aboard the France Rugby World Cup 2023 Train This Summer!

 
All Aboard the France Rugby World Cup 2023 Train This Summer!

There might still be more than a year to go until the Rugby World Cup 2023, but rugby fans all around France can get their first taste of rugby fever this summer. The France 2023 Rugby Tour kicks off on 21 July 2022 — in just a couple of weeks! — with a dedicated Rugby World Cup 2023 train chugging its way around France.

Hop Aboard the Rugby World Cup 2023 Train

This summer, the Rugby World Cup 2023 train will be setting out on an epic four-month journey around France, visiting 51 cities and covering some 11,000 kilometres over 114 days. The exhibition train will be accessible to rugby fans at each of its stops along the way, accompanied by special events, interactive activities, and Rugby Villages in all of the host cities, as well as many other rugby-loving destinations around France.

Importantly, the train will be continuing France’s push for sustainable travel during the big event, and as an Official Sponsor of RWC 2023, the SNCF Group (France’s state-run national railway) will be encouraging fans to make use of the country’s excellent network of long-distance trains to travel between matches in 2023.

Where to see the Rugby 2023 train

If you’re visiting France this summer, now’s your chance to enjoy a taste of the Rugby World Cup prior to the big event next year. The train starts its journey at Lille Flandres train station on 21 July 2022, where it will be accompanied by the first Rugby Village from 22-23 July.

From there, it continues its tour of France, stopping at all of the nine RWC host cities – Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Paris, Saint-Étienne, and Toulouse – along with 42 other cities, including Rennes, Tours, La Rochelle, Biarritz, Perpignan, Avignon, Annecy, Dijon, Strasbourg, Orléans and Metz. The final stop, naturally, is in Paris, where the train will be stationed from 10 to 12 November 2022.

See the map and schedule below for the full timetable of events.

France 2023 Rugby Train Schedule

France 2023 Rugby Train Schedule

Train Stops
Photo Exhibitions
Rugby Villages
Train Stops
Photo Exhibitions
Rugby Villages

July

  • 21-22-23/07 : LILLE METROPOLE Train StopsPhoto ExhibitionsRugby Villages
  • 24/07 : LE TOUQUET Train Stops
  • 25/07 : AMIENS Train Stops
  • 26/07 : DEAUVILLE Train Stops
  • 27-28/07 : RENNES Train Stops
  • 29-30/07 : SAINT-MALO Train Stops
  • 31/07-01/08 : BREST Train Stops

August

  • 02-03/08 : VANNES Train StopsPhoto Exhibitions
  • 04-05/08 : TOURS Train Stops
  • 06-07-08/08 : NANTES Train StopsPhoto ExhibitionsRugby Villages
  • 09-10/08 : LA ROCHELLE Train Stops
  • 11-12/08 : ANGOULÊME Train Stops
  • 13-14-15/08 : BORDEAUX Train StopsPhoto ExhibitionsRugby Villages
  • 16-17/08 : DAX Train Stops
  • 18-19/08 : BAYONNE Train StopsPhoto Exhibitions
  • 20-21/08 : BIARRITZ Train Stops
  • 22-23/08 : PAU Train Stops
  • 24-25/08 : AGEN Train StopsPhoto Exhibitions
  • 26/08 : TARBES Train Stops
  • 28/08 : NARBONNE Train Stops
  • 30-31/08 : MONTAUBAN Train Stops

September

  • 01/09 : CARCASSONNE Train Stops
  • 03-04/09 : PERPIGNAN Train Stops
  • 05/09 : BÉZIERS Train Stops
  • 06-07/09 : MONTPELLIER Train StopsPhoto Exhibitions
  • 08-09-10/09 : MARSEILLE Train StopsPhoto ExhibitionsRugby Villages
  • 11-12/09 : TOULON Train Stops
  • 13-14-15/09 : NICE Train StopsPhoto ExhibitionsRugby Villages
  • 17-18/09 : NÎMES Train Stops
  • 21/09 : AVIGNON Train Stops
  • 24-25-26/09 : SAINT-ÉTIENNE Train StopsPhoto ExhibitionsRugby Villages
  • 28/09 : BOURGOIN-JALLIEU Train Stops
  • 30/09 – 01-02/10 : LYON Train StopsPhoto ExhibitionsRugby Villages

October

  • 05-06/10 : GRENOBLE Train StopsPhoto Exhibitions
  • 08-09/10 : ANNECY Train Stops
  • 10-11/10 : BOURG-EN-BRESSE Train Stops
  • 12-13/10 : MÂCON Train Stops
  • 15-16/10 : DIJON Train Stops
  • 17/10 : BESANÇON Train Stops
  • 18-19/10 : NANCY Train Stops
  • 20-21/10 : METZ Train Stops
  • 22-23/10 : STRASBOURG Train Stops
  • 25-26/10 : ORLÉANS Train Stops
  • 27-28/10 : POITIERS Train Stops
  • 29-30/10 : LIMOGES Train Stops
  • 31/10-01/11 : TOULOUSE Train StopsPhoto ExhibitionsRugby Villages

November

  • 02-03/11 : BRIVE Train StopsPhoto Exhibitions
  • 05-06/11 : AURILLAC Train Stops
  • 07-08/11 : CLERMONT Train Stops
  • 09/11 : NEVERS Train Stops
  • 10-11-12/11 : PARIS Train StopsPhoto ExhibitionsRugby Villages

Attending the Events: What to Expect

The Rugby World Cup 2023 train will be open to the public at the central train station of each city, with four carriages dedicated to exhibitions on the Rugby World Cup. The carriages will feature displays and memorabilia on all the qualified teams and past Rugby World Cups, along with immersive rugby-inspired exhibitions.

Most exciting for rugby fans will be the chance to take a peek at the Webb Ellis Cup, the iconic trophy presented to the champions of the Rugby World Cup, which will be the star attraction on board.

Nine Rugby Villages in France’s RWC 2023 Host Cities

If you’re lucky enough to visit the train in one of France’s nine Rugby World Cup host cities, you’ll be in for an extra treat. Not only will the train be stationed for a full three days in each of the host cities, but it will be accompanied by photo exhibitions and a Rugby Village.

Each Rugby Village will be open for two days and will feature a variety of rugby-inspired experiences. Kids and adults alike can try their hand at the game on the temporary rugby pitches, after which you can admire the multimedia exhibitions (including virtual imaging walls and augmented reality) and enjoy numerous interactive activities and entertainment.

Fourteen other cities, including Brive, Grenoble, and Montpellier, will also host the photo exhibitions, which promise to spotlight rugby “in all its forms” from grassroots to professional, as well as women’s rugby and wheelchair rugby.

We’ll be documenting the events as they happen, so watch this space!

Lead photo credit : © Shutterstock

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