THE Rugby League World Cup 2021 is set to go ahead this autumn, when York's LNER Community Stadium is due to host eight women's matches.

The tournament had been in doubt due to the surge in Covid-19 cases and resistance from Australia’s NRL clubs concerned over travel and quarantine restrictions caused by the pandemic.

But organisers have confirmed the event will go ahead as planned and remain confident Australia will be in England to defend their trophy.

Six women’s group stage fixtures and both semi-finals will be staged at the stadium at Monks Cross between November 10 and November 22.

The news has been hailed by leading business, council and sports figures in York.

Charlotte Hawes, events manager at Make It York, said the tournament will provide a real boost to the city, bringing some of the biggest names in the sport here to experience its world class offer.

"The last year has been challenging for everyone and it’s brilliant to see live events on this scale returning to the city," she said.

Cllr Darryl Smalley, executive member for leisure, said the tournament would 'give us something to really look forward to as a city.'

He said: "The line-up of games at the LNER Community Stadium looks set to offer some fantastic entertainment for residents and visitors as we welcome world-class athletes to our city.”

Jon Flatman, chairman of York City Knights, said the excitement was building now with just 100 days to go until the tournament begins.

"The tournament has a huge global reach and a strong community-led approach and it’s such a brilliant event for York and the sport more widely," he said."We are looking forward to welcoming players and fans to the city to be a part of sporting history this November."

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said that after the challenges of the past 18 months, the moment when the men’s, women’s and wheelchair teams took to the pitch would be a 'watershed moment for both the sport and the country.'

*To celebrate there being 100 days to go to the tournament, 100 tickets for York matches can be won by going to