Sheffield United: Bramall Lane will benefit from staging Rugby League World Cup games after a breakthrough in the bid process

Sheffield United will benefit from staging matches at the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, a key figure behind the bid to bring the tournament to the city has claimed.

Bramall Lane could stage Rugby League World Cup games and UEFA Women's Championship fixtures in 2021
Bramall Lane could stage Rugby League World Cup games and UEFA Women's Championship fixtures in 2021

Dave McCarthy, the Championship club's operations director, was speaking after it emerged Sheffield has progressed to the candidate stage of the selection process after impressing organisers with its bid.

'To make the candidate stage for such a prestigious global event is incredible for the club and the city,' McCarthy 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.'

Dave McCarthy will Pele at Bramall Lane

"Sheffield and Bramall Lane are renowned for sporting legacy," McCarthy added. "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 the participation and interest in rugby league across the world."

United's home stadium, the oldest ground still hosting professional football in the world, is one of only two venues in the country to have staged England internationals, a cricket Test and an FA Cup final. Sheffield Eagles, who are helping to press Sheffield's case alongside the city council, United and SIV, have also played there.

A final decision is scheduled to be announced in January, after RLWC2021 officials undertake a detailed assessment. Last month, it was announced Sheffield will form part of the FA's attempts to host the UEFA Women's Championships earlier that year. 

Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure said: "Following on so quickly from the Football Association's announcement of Sheffield's key role in its Women's UEFA Euro championship bid, this is further evidence of Sheffield's ambition and status as a world class destination for all sport."