World Cup chief executive Jon Dutton has revealed that matches originally scheduled to be held at the proposed new Allerdale Stadium will remain in the North of England.
Three World Cup matches had been due to take place there.
But while Dutton stopped short of naming the ground where the games will go instead, he confirmed that they’ll be in the North of the country.
He told the BBC 5 Live Rugby League Podcast: “It’s devastating. We believed in the project so much and the benefit not only to the World Cup, but to the broader sport too.
“A new home to Workington Town, a venue that will be world class, deliver other representative games, and be shared with the football club.
“And if we’re really honest it’s desperately needed in West Cumbria.
“But without going into the details and over old ground, the change in political leadership and change of decision has resulted in us being bitterly disappointed that they’ll be unable to deliver on the promise they made to us.
“We have a contingency venue, and we had it right at the start, which we will reveal in the next few weeks, but that will not be in West Cumbria.
“The region does not have a facility that would meet the standards we’ve set for the tournament.
“It’s a venue in the North of England, but we’ll let the dust settle before we make an announcement with the partner.”