Road To France 2025 Announced

The International Rugby League has finalised the qualification framework for the 2025 Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair IRL Rugby League World Cups to be staged concurrently in France.

The qualifying process for the 2025 Youth World Cup to be played alongside the Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair tournaments will be announced in 2023.

Wales will be looking to qualify for all four events in what will be the biggest qualifying event in IRL Rugby League World Cup history. A total of 46 national teams will be involved in qualifying competitions for the Men’s and Women’s tournaments, compared to the 20 national teams that were involved in RLWC2021 qualifying.

This includes 20 women’s national teams who will contest international rugby league’s first women’s qualifying competition for the eight remaining positions at RLWC2025. This will include Wales who will look to qualify for their first Women’s Rugby League World Cup.

Russia is currently suspended from international rugby league. A decision will be made in December on whether Russia can participate in the men’s and women’s European qualifying tournaments next year.

There are 16 available berths in each of the four tournaments – Men’s, Women’s Wheelchair and Youth (under 19s). France, as the host nation, automatically qualifies for all four World Cups. The eight Men’s quarter-finalists and all eight Women’s teams from RLWC2021, to be played in England later this year, are also given automatic entry into the 2025 World Cup, with the remaining eight spots in each tournament up for grabs.

An expression of interest and invitation process will be used to determine the 16 Wheelchair finalists.


All eight quarter-finalists at RLWC2021 automatically qualify for RLWC2025.

The regional berth allocation, confirmed in March, is:

EUROPE (6-8 berths)
ASIA-PACIFIC (5-7 berths
AMERICAS (2 berths)

EUROPE (6-8 berths)

Teams competing in RLWC2021: England, Greece, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, Wales.

Qualifying Process:

The format of a EUROPE qualifying tournament in 2024, if required, can only be determined after the RLWC2021 quarter-finalists are known, but the following competitions will be played in 2023:

European Championship A (England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, Serbia, Spain and Wales – in two groups of four) will, if required, act as a direct qualification event to France 2025 and/or a route to the 2024 European qualifying tournament, if one is required.

The winner of the European Championship B (Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Ukraine – in two groups of three) will advance to the 2024 European qualifying tournament, if one is required, or to an inter-regional repechage, if a Europe-only qualifying tournament is not required.

The qualifying process has already begun with the 2021 European Championship D in Turkey. Netherlands won and have advanced to the European Championship B, with Czech Republic, Malta and Turkey eliminated.However, if Russia does not participate in European Championship B, Czech Republic will take its place as the 2021 European Championship D runner-up.


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 regional berth allocation, confirmed in March, is:

ASIA-PACIFIC (6 berths)
EUROPE (6 berths)
AMERICAS (3 berths)

EUROPE (6 berths)

Teams competing at RLWC2021 (automatic qualification): England, France

Qualifying process (4 berths)

In the EUROPE qualifying tournament, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Wales will play in two groups of four in 2023, with the two highest placed finishers from each group qualifying for RLWC2025.


An expression of interest and invitation process will be used to determine the 16 finalists. Those 16 finalists will be selected by the end of 2024. No determination has been made on regional berth allocation


The qualification framework will be determined in 2023