Bernard Lapasset, the man charged with producing a successful World Cup 2007, has promised "an unforgettable event for the world of rugby".
Lapasset, president of the French organising committee, was speaking at yesterday's draw for the finals, which took place in Paris.
While promoting the benefit-to the world game of a successful tournament, Lapasset was also quick to acknowledge the effect it could have on French rugby.
He said: "World Cup 2007 is going to give us the opportunity to develop rugby in our country.
"The French like football but we are also a rugby country.
"We will prepare for this World Cup an unforgettable event for the world of rugby.
"It will be a great festival, in line with the values of sharing and friendship our sport conveys."
World champions England will begin their defence of the Webb Ellis Trophy in Lens on September 8, 2007.
England, grouped in pool A alongside South Africa and three yet-to-be-decided qualifiers, launch the World Cup campaign against Americas 3, which looks likely to be the USA Eagles or Canada.
It will be the tournament's second match, scheduled a day after host nation France kick off the 48-match competition, probably against Argentina, in Paris.
England's pivotal pool appointment with the Springboks is scheduled for September 14 at Stade de France in Paris.
They will conclude the group stages by facing Oceania 1 (probably Samoa or Fiji) in Nantes on September 22, followed by a repechage qualifier (possibly Tonga) at Parc des Princes in Paris six days later.
If England win pool A their quarter-final - possibly against Wales in a repeat of the 2003 last-eight epic - is scheduled for Marseille on October 7.
Should England finish as runners-up a 2003 World Cup final re-match against Australia looks likely, also in Marseille.
Both semi-finals and finals will take place at Stade de France, with World Cup final day announced as October 20, 2007.
Wales launch their campaign against Americas 2 in Nantes on September 9, then face Australia and an Asian qualifier in Cardiff, before returning to Nantes on September 29 and an appointment with Oceania 2.
Scotland start against the top repechage qualifier in St Etienne on September 9, followed by appointments with Europe 2 and New Zealand at Murrayfield, followed by Europe 1 in St Etienne.
Ireland, meanwhile, open against an African qualifier in Bordeaux on September 9,
where they also play Europe 3, with their key pool D game against France scheduled for Stade de France and a game against Americas 1 taking place at Parc des Princes.
Elsewhere, New Zealand will play in Marseille, Lyon, Edinburgh and Toulouse; Australia in Lyon, Cardiff, Montpellier and Bordeaux; with South Africa rolling into Paris, Lens and Montpellier.
The 48 fixtures will be spread between 12 cities, including Cardiff and Edinburgh.
Lapasset added: "With Cardiff and Edinburgh we have two great cities for the games. And in France ten cities who are passionate about rugby."
Syd Millar, chairman of Rugby World Cup Limited, added: "We have a common ambition with the French organising committee to organise the best Rugby World Cup yet."
Of the 48 matches, 36 will be played on weekends, with only Tuesday and Wednesdays used for matches in the week.