Follow the Rugby World Cup: the ultimate supporter guide
Make sure you rest during the holidays as the back-to-school season is set to be intense. From the 8th September, trade in your swimming costume for a rugby shirt and warm up your vocal chords. Over 2 months, France, and in particular Saint-Denis, will be living to the beat of scrums. So that you don’t miss any of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, follow the guide.
Are you hopping up and down with impatience? The preparation games start from August 5th for France. While the team is playing away against Scotland and Fiji, the game against Australia is being played at home. Join us at the Stade de France on 27th August, or live on W9 from your favourite bar.
The programme: heading for victory
The opening match
In 2007, France, host of the World Cup, defeated the All Blacks. Remember. Equal at the 68th minute, after a relentless fight. The historic score: 18-20. That year, the French rugby team marched to the front lines before the Haka. In the face of the players, there was no doubt. Only the (kept) promise of winning.
Back to 2023. Everything happens for a reason. For the Opening game on 8th September, at 9.15pm, the Blues and Blacks meet again. New Zealand want to get revenge. France want a repeat of their success. This exciting match is not to be missed under any circumstances.
The games in the first round will take place from 8th September to 8th October. In Saint-Denis, as well as France and New Zealand, four teams will be returning to the Stade de France playing field:
- 9th September: Australia vs Georgia at 6pm
- 23rd: South Africa vs Ireland at 9pm
- 7th October: Ireland vs Scotland at 9pm
For the French team, the matches outside of the Paris Region will take place on 14th September against Uruguay, on 21st September against Namibia and on 6th October against Italy.
The Stade de France will host:
- The quarter finals 2 and 4 on the 14th and 15th October
- Both semi-finals on 20th and 21st October
- The final for 3rd place on 27th October
- The final on 28th October
Find the event summary in the official calendar.
The Stade de France, pride of Saint-Denis
The Stade de France will be the place to be during the World Cup. An emblematic building of Paris Region, this site has seen events which have influenced the history of sport: the French victory in 1998, the Rugby World Cup final in 2007… And more recently, the final of the Six Nations Tournament where France won its 10th Grand Slam.
To follow in the footsteps of the greatest champions, the stadium offers guided tours.
All paths lead to the stadium
To get to Saint-Denis, use public transport where possible. From the center of Paris, you can access the stadium by train, tram, metro or bus:
- RER B: La Plaine Stade de France station
- RER D: Stade de France - st Denis station
- Metro Line 13: st Denis - Porte de Paris station
- Metro Line 12: Front Populaire station
- Tramway n°1: st Denis Basilique station
- Tramway n°8: st Denis Porte de Paris station
- Bus: n°139 / 153 / 173 / 255 / 350
Antoine Dupont, captain of the French rugby team, is lending his voice to the SNCF. During the duration of the event, the station announcements will have a Toulouse accent. A good excuse to take the “traing”!
Experience the World Cup outside the stadium
All the games are fully booked. But fans should rest assured. The atmosphere in Paris and Saint-Denis will be just as electric as inside the stadium. To welcome rugby fans, the cities are each providing a village. Sports, cultural and educational events are on the programme. And of course, the games will be shown on a giant screen.
In Saint-Denis, come to the Place Victor Hugo Rugby Village, at the foot of the town’s basilica. In Paris, fans from all walks of life are expected at the Place de la Concorde. These two safe spaces will be open throughout the competition.
Waiting between two matches
While Saint-Denis’ international influence is due to its stadium, this Parisian suburb has other assets. Once you’re here, why not visit the town and the surrounding area while waiting for the game to start?
The Basilica of Saint-Denis
The remains of famous people are kept inside this historic monument: Dagobert I, François I, Pepin the Short and Catherine de’ Medici. Enjoy a guided or self-guided tour to admire the tombs, the statues and the architecture, or pray to God to ensure our victory.
Saint-Ouen Flea Market
The biggest flea market in the world, this unique site has been buzzing since 1870. Amongst the 14 markets and the 1500 stall holders present, you’re bound to find something you like. On weekends, the site is open from 10am to 6pm. Perfect timing. Bargain-hunt, eat, then come and support your team.
Le musée d’art et d’histoire Paul Éluard
Its original collections and themes make this museum popular. In this museum, medieval archeology, precious historic objects and works by the poet Paul Éluard rub shoulders with one another. The cultural experience is completed by a sensory walk in the museum garden.
La Street-Art Avenue
Since 2016, talented graffiti artists have been making their mark in the Street-Art Avenue Grand Paris. This 5-km itinerary in Seine-Saint-Denis presents the works of over 30 artists during the course of a colourful walk.
The athlete village
In Saint-Denis, sport is never far away. After the Rugby World Cup, Seine-Saint-Denis will welcome athletes for a highly anticipated event: the 2024 Olympic Games. Visit the village construction site: 51 hectares to follow its development.
The Ciné Balade experience at the Saint-Ouen Flea Market
You can be a rugby fan AND a film-lover. Ciné Balade is for cinema fans, offering visits of filming locations in Paris and the surrounding area. Follow the guide through the Saint-Ouen Flea Market or in Aubervilliers.
Build up your strength
Between screaming and jumping for joy, your body will need a source of energy. Come to the restaurants near the stadium and the Rugby Village.
Le Karlito du MOB HOTEL
In the heart of the Saint-Ouen Flea Market, the MOB HOTEL welcomes you to its organic, Italian and mainstream canteen. Here, friendliness and sharing, which are also values shared by the world of rugby, are called for.
This restaurant is part of the very popular Eyal Shani chain. As an honourable culinary genius, this chef revisits Israeli cuisine with simplicity and poetry. The ingredients are fresh, natural and their flavours are perfectly enhanced.
Celebrate victories (and forget defeats)
Every victory is a reason to celebrate. Every defeat is an excuse to get together and console one another. Discover the bars of Saint-Denis, where you can start and end all your evenings during the Rugby World Cup.
La 3ème mi-temps (The third half)
It’s all in the name. Come to this brasserie located just in front of the Stade de France. On game evenings, a DJ will be playing, and the match will of course be shown on a large screen.
La Cantine Sauvage
Located in a 1500 m² hangar and equipped with 400 chairs or armchairs, the Cantine Sauvage brings together families and friends for a drink, a meal, to relax or celebrate.
The Rugby World Cup is also a melting-pot. Fans from all over the world come together to celebrate a passion, that of a great game. So, during the event, why not immerse yourself in new cultures?
- Copyright image: 2019 World Rugby © Rugby World Cup France 2023