TOURNAMENT bosses are to ask Rugby Football League chiefs for the York International 9s to have a firm place in the rugby league calendar.

York 9s creator Lionel Hurst hailed the success of Saturday's main Fairfax Cup competition, as well as yesterday's tournament for development teams, and intimated that plans are afoot for Super League teams to enter the tournament in the near future.

He told The Press: "The York 9s is becoming so successful in so many ways that we hope we can liaise with the game's hierarchy to give it a special place in the rugby league fixture list.

"If we can do that, then the sky's the limit."

The main Fairfax Cup competition on Saturday which saw the National League represented for the first time by winners York City Knights, finalists Batley Bulldogs and Featherstone Rovers was watched by more than 1,500 rugby league fans, an attendance which delighted York 9s executive Neal Coupland, especially given that the festival clashed with York Races on a hot day which saw many locals head off to the seaside. He also reckoned the standard of rugby was superb.

"It was a bumper crowd and a really good afternoon for everybody," he said. "It was the highest standard of rugby that we've had in the five years of the festival it just gets better each year, and there was very little to choose from between all 12 teams.

"The French teams performed admirably again they're keen to come back again next year. Lezignan got knocked out early but they only lost to tournament winners York Knights by two points in their group game, which shows how close it all was."

He added: "The Fairfax Cup was in a one-day format for the first time and it worked very well. It was really good to see all these different levels covered, from the top professional level of the likes of Barrie McDermott and Gary Connolly in his one-off Ambassadors side, to the National League clubs, French clubs and good amateurs.

"It was topped off by the Marston Moor Cup for the children, and, of course, there was an excellent tournament for development teams yesterday.

"The festival embraced the whole rugby league community."