Sheffield remains in the running to host Rugby League World Cup fixtures after bosses confirmed they have formally submitted a final bid to the competition’s organisers.
Towns and cities had until Friday to tweak bids in the hope of convincing organisers that they should be given a taste of the 2021 tournament.
The joint bid from Sheffield City Council, Sheffield United, SIV and Sheffield Eagles means the world's top teams could play at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane when the World Cup comes to England between October 23 and November 27, 2021.
The Steel City could also host games in the ladies and wheelchair competitions, at the Olympic Legacy Park and the EIS, and is also bidding to host one of the competing teams
Officials will now make site visits to assess Sheffield's facilities, ahead of a final decision in January next year.
The competition will be the first time the men’s, ladies and wheelcahir competitions will be held at the same time.
Dave McCarthy, operations director at United, said: “The Rugby League World Cup 2021 team are looking to deliver the most viewed tournament ever which will showcase Sheffield to a global audience of millions. Through continual investment in the stadium, we’re capable of attracting the biggest and best events to Bramall Lane.
“Sheffield and Bramall Lane are renowned for sporting legacy and we would be extremely proud to work with the organisers to help deliver a long-lasting legacy that celebrates the heritage of the sport and increases interest around the world.
Coun Mary Lea, Sheffield Council’s Cabinet member for culture, parks and leisure said the event could boost the appeal of rugby league in the city.
She said: “The Rugby League World Cup is a very high-profile, global event, and the rewards of a successful bid could be very substantial, not only in terms of the economic returns, but also in terms of the huge boost to development of the city’s rugby league traditions, and in terms of the inspiration we know that top flight sport in Sheffield provides to all our citizens, but particularly to young people.
“We are proud to be playing our part as a council in backing the bid.”
The 2021 Rugby League World Cup will be the 16th staging of the event.
Andrew Snelling, chief executive of SIV, which operates 13 sport and entertainment facilities in Sheffield, said: “We’re really proud to be part of the team which has helped Sheffield onto the candidate city shortlist.
“Our sporting facilities are some of the best in the country and it would be a privilege to host this prestigious event. We want to engage and inspire local people through the Rugby League World Cup, make the sport accessible for all ages and abilities and create a lasting legacy.”
Liam Claffey, chief operating officer at Sheffield Eagles, added: “This is a great news and would be a excellent springboard for the development of Rugby League within the city and for the Eagles.
“We have and are continuing to work closely with all parties and we have had positive discussions with RLWC 2021 officials about the desire for the Eagles to be an integral part of the city’s’ bid to help spread rugby league within the region and for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 to leave a lasting legacy in Sheffield.”