YORK City Knights chairman Jon Flatman has hailed the news that York will host New Zealand men's and Australia women's for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup and believes the competition will aid the region's economic recovery following the coronavirus.

York will play hosts to world number one men's and women's sides, New Zealand and Australia respectively, as well as the women's side of New Zealand, France and the Cook Islands.

And the Knights boss believes that the sport's landmark international tournament, which will begin in October next year, will play a big part in the city's "recovery plan" after the pandemic eases.

“What an accolade for the city that the number one men’s team in the world have chosen York as have the number one team in the international women’s game, and that’s based on the RLIF rankings, that’s not just my own opinion," enthused Flatman.

“It’s great that they will be coming to stay in this fantastic city.

“What we’re going to make sure is that the World Cup is a big part of the city’s recovery plan.

“We’ve pledged our absolute commitment and I’ve pledged that commitment to the leader of The (City of York) Council.

“I’ve made an absolute commitment to (Cllr Keith Aspden) him that we will be a part and play our role and do everything that we can to be part of that city recovery plan.

“There’s a commitment to make the private, the public and the third sector in the city respond to the Covid-19 crisis.

“The World Cup is a really big part of that and rugby league, through the Knights and through the World Cup will play a part in ensuring that this city remains a fantastic play to live, work and study."