Jon Wilkin has now provided his thoughts on the 2025 World Cup leaving France.
Speaking on Sky Sports, he wasn’t shocked by the decision.
“I am not all together surprised. If you look at the political landscape in France, it is very complicated with two votes of no confidence,” he said.
“People are striking over the retirement age going up from 62 to 64 and the government are going after banks over 2.5 million euros worth of tax issues.
“They are tightening their belts all over the show, in the light of that to host a tournament of little interest to people in Paris, that is going to lose money, it would make sense to cut it.
“Decisions are made in Paris. It is very much like London and the North in this country, it doesn’t reflect the feelings of some of the strong rugby league areas in France. It is such a disappointment. It is completely understandable when you look at the politics. People are striking and I think they have taken the easy option here.”
He said that the sport is obsessed with growth and that is why it needs France:
“We are a game obsessed with growth and I have said this a number of times. We don’t need to look much further than France to do that.
“It is an amazing part of the world with a rich history of the game until rugby league was banned by the government in the 20th Century.
“I think France is a must for rugby league. It is a big blow. England need a local rival that they can play against.”
In place of France, the sport could take the tournament to Qatar who have expressed an interest in the tournament.
Wilkin has said this would also represent growth as he had an interesting say on if the sport made this decision:
“It would be very left field. I fancy Fiji. What a place that would be.
“Qatar is an interesting one for me because a game that is obsessed with growth has snubbed opportunities like Toronto, there is no London team in Super League and to take the game to Qatar would be profiteering and the path of least resistance.
“There should be determination to take the game to a place in the world where there is potential for the game to grow and exist at grassroots level.”