TODAY marked the announcement of host venues for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 and Bradford has been snubbed.

Bradford Council, in conjunction with Bradford Bulls and Keighley Cougars, had submitted a bid to stage women's matches.

But, the announcement - made today in Manchester - revealed Bradford's bid had not been selected.

This comes despite other Yorkshire venues and locations making the cut, including Leeds which will host more games than any other city.

Elland Road will host a men’s semi-final and Emerald Headingley Stadium will host three men’s games and two women’s games.

Mick Gledhill, Bradford Bulls commentator, said he'd been told the decision centered on going for more modern venues with the best facilities.

Odsal Stadium, part of the Bradford bid and home of the Bulls, is unique in its structure and hosted an estimated 102,569 people for the Challenge Cup final in 1954.

But Mick believes other grounds were picked because they're seen as being better for broadcasting.

He said: "Odsal's too big, look at the venues that have been chosen - York's smaller, Doncaster's smaller. It's what is going to make the World Cup look vibrant."

Doncaster and York, alongside Hull, Kirklees and Sheffield are the other Yorkshire locations selected for the tournament.

Significantly, York will host the two women's semi finals, as well as a group game.

Mick added: "It's not like Bradford isn't going to sell, you'd probably get at least 5,000 turning up, but in such a big ground it would look soulless.

"Doncaster are delighted, they've got three games. Odsal is a historical rugby league venue, but they wanted vibrant, modern grounds. That's ultimately what I've been told."

Old Trafford will be the venue for both the men’s and women’s Rugby League World Cup finals.

The selection of venues by organisers means the Government target of 80 per cent of the tournament being held in the Northern Powerhouse has comfortably been met.

But, the news that Bradford's bid has been snubbed will be a kick in the teeth for a city that boasts one of the leading women's rugby league teams.

Bulls Women claimed the Super League and Challenge Cup double in 2017.

More to follow...