Rugby World Cup stadiums: Which cities in France are hosting matches?

Your guide to all of the venues at the 2023 Rugby World Cup

Harry Latham-Coyle
Monday 04 September 2023 08:44 BST
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The 2023 Rugby World Cup could be the most hard-fought yet with 20 nations competing in France.

The venues for the competition are spread right around the country, from the rugby heartlands of the south up to Nantes, Paris and Lille further north.

The men’s World Cup was last hosted in France in 2007, and a number of stadiums used for that tournament again make the cut.

And with hopes high for a home success, the atmosphere should be electric right around the country.

Here’s everything you need to know about every match venue:

Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux

Capacity: 42,060

Home to Bordeaux’s top football team, now in Ligue 2, this impressive arena was opened in 2015 and is sponsored by French insurance company Matmut. Nestled next to a nature reserve towards the north of the city on the banks of the Garonne, the stadium features quirky architecture and hosted five games during Euro 2016 - though is yet to hold an international game of rugby.

Matches:

Ireland vs Romania, Pool B, Saturday 9 September

Wales vs Fiji, Pool C, Sunday 10 September

Samoa vs Chile, Pool D, Saturday 16 September

South Africa vs Romania, Pool B, Sunday 17 September

Fiji vs Georgia, Pool C, Saturday 30 September

Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne

Capacity: 41,965

Nicknamed “le Chaudron” (the Cauldron), or “l’enfer vert” (the Green Hell), AS Saint-Etienne’s home has been upgraded since hosting a handful of games during the 2007 tournament. English football fans may remember Stade Geoffroy-Guichard from their side’s 1998 Fifa World Cup exit on penalties to Argentina, while the stadium will celebrate a centenary year in 2031.

Matches:

Italy vs Namibia, Pool A, Saturday 9 September

Australia vs Fiji, Pool C, Sunday 17 September

Argentina vs Samoa, Pool D, Friday 22 September

Australia vs Portugal, Pool C, Sunday 1 October

Stade de Nice, Nice

Capacity: 35,983

More commonly known as the Allianz Riviera, the World Cup marks a decade since the Nice venue was opened. Occasionally used by Toulon, the stadium is a few kilometres in-land from the hub of the Mediterranean hotspot, adjacent to the river Var. There is a museum of sports history on site for visitors to enjoy and the structure features a three-dimensional wooden frame that was the largest ever designed for a venue of this kind at the time of opening.

Matches:

Wales vs Portugal, Pool C, Saturday 16 September

England vs Japan, Pool D, Sunday 17 September

Italy vs Uruguay, Pool A, Wednesday 20 September

Scotland vs Tonga, Pool B, Sunday 24 September

Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes

Capacity: 35,520

Another returning venue from 2007, Ligue 1’s FC Nantes are the regular tenants of the Stade de la Beaujoire. It had been marked for demolition, with a proposed new build entitled YelloPark due to be built for this tournament and next year’s Paris Olympics, but the city council elected not to go ahead with the project. It was here in 2007 that Fiji stunned Wales to knock the Six Nations side out in the pool stages.

Matches:

Ireland vs Tonga, Pool B, Saturday 16 September

Argentina vs Chile, Pool D, Saturday 30 September

Wales vs Georgia, Pool C, Saturday 7 October

Japan vs Argentina, Pool D, Sunday 8 October

Stadium de Toulouse, Toulouse

Capacity: 33,150

The smallest of the nine venues, the Stadium de Toulouse is an occasional home of the city’s rugby side, the reigning French champions and provider of many of the national team’s best players. A third renovation was completed in 2016 to an arena first built for the 1938 Fifa World Cup.

Matches:

Japan vs Chile, Pool D, Sunday 10 September

New Zealand vs Namibia, Pool A, Friday 15 September

Georgia vs Portgual, Pool C, Saturday 23 September.

Japan vs Samoa, Pool D, Thursday 28 September

Fiji vs Portugal, Pool C, Sunday 8 October

Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille

Capacity: 50,096

The impressive Stade Pierre-Mauroy, named after the former French prime minister and sponsored by sporting retail giants Decathlon, has established itself as the marquee arena in northern France. Located in Villeneuve-d’Ascq, which sits between Lille and Roubaix in a sprawling metropolis close to the border with Belgium, the stadium will host France’s Six Nations game against Italy next year with the Stade de France unavailable ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics

Matches:

France vs Uruguay, Pool A, Thursday 14 September

England vs Chile, Pool D, Saturday 23 September

Scotland vs Romania, Pool B, Saturday 30 September

England vs Samoa, Pool D, Saturday 7 October

Tonga vs Romania, Pool B, Sunday 8 October

OL Stadium, Lyon

Capacity: 58,883

Located in the Lyon suburb of Décines-Charpieu, the venue otherwise known as Groupama Stadium will host five tournament games. The brainchild of former Olympique Lyonnais president Jean-Michel Aulas, the final of the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup was held at the venue. Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour will visit for two dates next June, while the stadium will also host the encounter between France and England on the final weekend of the 2024 Six Nations.

Matches:

Wales vs Australia, Pool C, Sunday 24 September

Uruguay vs Namibia, Pool A, Wednesday 27 September

New Zealand vs Italy, Pool A, Friday 29 September

New Zealand vs Uruguay, Pool A, Thursday 5 October

France vs Italy, Pool A, Friday 6 October

Stade Velodrome, Marseille

Capacity: 67,847

A regular haunt for the French national team when away from the Stade de France, the Marseille amphitheatre was also the venue for La Rochelle’s win over Leinster in last year’s Champions Cup final. The Stade Velodrome is scheduled to host two quarter finals, just as it did in 2007.

Matches:

England vs Argentina, Pool D, Saturday 9 September

South Africa vs Scotland, Pool B, Sunday 10 September

France vs Namibia, Pool A, Thursday 21 September

South Africa vs Tonga, Pool B, Sunday 1 October

Quarter-Final 1 (Winner Pool C vs Runner-up Pool D), Saturday 14 October

Quarter-Final 3 (Winner Pool D vs Runner-up Pool C), Sunday 15 October

Stade de France, Paris

Capacity:81,500

The French national stadium is one of only two arenas in the world (Yokohama Stadium) to have held both a football and rugby World Cup final, and hopes will be high that the host nation can replicate the achievement of their 1998 footballing counterparts and secure a World Cup crown on home soil. The problems fans encountered at last year’s Champions League final will worry organisers, though World Rugby are confident there will be no repeat.

The sixth largest stadium in Europe will host the athletics during Paris 2024.

Matches:

France vs New Zealand, Pool A, Friday 8 September

Australia vs Georgia, Pool C, Saturday 9 September

South Africa vs Ireland, Pool B, Saturday 23 September

Ireland vs Scotland, Pool B, Saturday 7 October

Quarter Final 2 (Winner Pool B vs Runner-up Pool A), Saturday 14 October

Quarter-Final 4 (Winner Pool A vs Runner-up Pool B), Sunday 15 October

Semi-Final 1 (Winner QF1 vs Winner QF 2), Friday 20 October

Semi-Final 2 (Winner QF3 vs Winner QF 4), Saturday 21 October

Bronze Final, Friday 27 October

Final, Saturday 28 October

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