The Rugby League World Cup, which went missing for two decades up to 1990, has been fitted with a GPS tracking device so it can never be lost again.
The trophy, commissioned by French Federation president Paul Barriere for the inaugural World Cup in 1954, was stolen from a Bradford hotel before the 1970 tournament before turning up in a ditch 20 years later.
It’s now been fully restored by Bradford jewellers Thomas Fattorini, complete with the missing cockerel, as England prepare to host the 2021 tournament and was unveiled at a World Cup event in Leeds on Friday.
“We’re not taking any chances with the cup and our new cockerel this time. We’ve incorporated a GPS tracker, a device they obviously didn’t have available to them in the ’70s,” RLWC 2021 chief executive Jon Dutton said.
“We may never know where the World Cup went during its two missing decades but we will always know where it is going forward. Fans can too by keeping a close eye on the tracking website.”
Dutton said Dutton said his team had drawn up a shortlist of 20 potential venues, which would be cut to 14 in January, with emphasis on moving from towns to cities and only grounds with a capacity of at least 12,000 considered as hosts.
Details of the draw and the pools for 2021 are due to be announced by the Rugby League International Federation on Monday following the conclusion of its four- day congress, which Dutton hopes will confirm the Kangaroos tour in 2020.
“We’ve been absolutely clear that we need England to be playing the Kangaroos at home in 2020 to set the tournament alight,” Dutton said.