CALDERDALE has won praise for its efforts to bring the 2013 Rugby World Cup to the district.
A council-backed bid impressed organisers with its all-round package which has a double purpose.
It hopes to attract matches to the Shay and for the district to be a training base for a competing team.
It is now firmly in the running, alongside competition from England and Wales.
Jon Dutton, host city manager for the tournament, met officials at the Shay and toured the district.
He said: “It’s a really broad and diverse partnership, which is great. There are no favourites. We are looking at the best stadium for the right matches and Halifax has as good a chance as anywhere.”
Fourteen teams will compete over 28 games which will be televised to a global audience.
A key factor will be how host cities/towns engage with the community and the council has made a postive start. Halifax RLFC, Calderdale Community Coaching Trust, Siddal ARLFC, Calderdale College, Calderdale Rugby League Service Area, ReativMedia, Holiday Inn, Cedar Court Hotels and Waterfront Lodge Hotel are all involved.
Council sports services manager Gary Byrnes said there had been positive feedback from all quarters.
“We now have two weeks to tighten up our application – it’s really exciting for Calderdale,” he said.
The council bid highlights the positives for selecting Halifax and the town was one of the founder members of the RFL.
Its location, transport links, countryside and training facilities are included and the game is being actively developed in local schools.