YORK will find out on Tuesday if it will be a host city for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup – and York City Knights chairman Jon Flatman reckons it is a “prime” candidate.

The city submitted a bid last year to accommodate teams for the main World Cup and the women’s event that runs alongside it, as well as have the new Community Stadium stage several group matches and a semi-final of the women’s tournament.

The extravaganza - last held in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea in 2017 - takes place in this country in October and November 2021, and tournament chiefs will announce the host cities, stadia and schedule on Tuesday morning.

Flatman said: “The York bid for the Rugby League World Cup is strong and must be in a prime position to be successful.

“All partners within the bid consortium have committed to working together and the buzz of vibrancy within our game is refreshing and positive."

The bid was put together by partners including City of York Council, the University of York, York St John University, York Stadium Leisure Complex, the Knights, York City FC and Make it York.

A council spokesperson said they had been “overwhelmed by the support received from residents and partners across the city”, and Flatman added: “The project lead, Charlie Croft of City of York Council, has delivered an excellent bid document and we are all hoping for the right result on Tuesday.”

Flatman reckons the Knights’ recent successes – beating former World Club champions Bradford Bulls to the 2018 Betfred League One title, and having a side compete in the inaugural Women’s Super League season – plus the ongoing work of the region’s community clubs have aided the bid.

“The cross-city support for hosting games and teams is built on advances made in the sport in the city in recent times,” he said.

“York City Knights Ladies’ Super League achievements in addition to the continued success of the region’s community clubs are the foundations for growing the game.

“York City Knights men’s team have obtained promotion to the second tier of the professional game alongside a resurgence in the sport at schools level.

“University and soon-to-be-announced college partnerships will boost the participation levels further with opportunities now also available in Masters rugby league (for over-35s) across the city.”

The World Cup also features a wheelchair rugby tournament, and Flatman revealed: “The Knights’ Charitable Foundation is in the process of launching learning disability and physical disability teams to ensure that everyone has the chance to play this great sport.”

He added: “This is the legacy of our bid but we would start now and not after the competition in 2021.”

When the bid was launched, Councillor Ian Gillies, leader of City of York Council, said: “Our bid aims to champion women’s sport, connect communities behind this event and encourage increased participation by inspiring York residents young and old.

"We will also put on an amazing event that puts York and the new stadium squarely in the international sporting spotlight.”

Andrew Sharp, head of business at Make It York, said: “York is well known for its world-class horse racing and for hosting the UK Snooker Championship. And, of course, the county has seen a cycling revival since hosting the Tour de France and the creation of the Tour de Yorkshire. Winning this bid would undoubtedly be brilliant for the city, attracting a brand new audience of sports fans and showcasing York in the UK and overseas.”

The Rev Canon Dr Christopher Collingwood, Canon Chancellor at York Minster, said: “York Minster is proud and happy to back this bid to bring this world-class competition to our world-class city.

“We are particularly energised by the focus on women’s participation in rugby league and in the potential for connecting communities across York. We can do this - let’s bring the World Cup to York.”