Organisers of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup have set about the task of reallocating matches scheduled for Workington and say they will still take place in the north of England.

Plans to stage three group fixtures in west Cumbria were dropped after Allerdale Council decided to scale down proposals for a new 8,000-capacity stadium in Workington due to the financial risk involved.

World Cup officials have had a contingency plan in place since announcing the venues in January and chief executive Jon Dutton says they will now begin working with new partners.

Dutton confirmed to PA that the new venue will be in the north, although not west Cumbria, thus maintaining the organisation's commitment to the Northern Powerhouse.

Just two of the 31 matches at the 2021 World Cup will take place south of Sheffield, at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium and Coventry's Ricoh Arena, comfortably meeting a Government target of holding at least 80 per cent of the tournament in the Northern Powerhouse.

Dutton said: "We're obviously very disappointed by the news and we do feel that it's a lost opportunity for West Cumbria.

"Our timelines and requirements from our original bidding process will mean we will now reallocate the three group games and team base camp, which will be announced in due course.

"We wish the council the best of luck with their revised project and I am confident that community clubs across West Cumbria will continue to see the benefits of RLWC2021 via our legacy programme."