It has been announced that the tournament will be held in England and following two stages of bidding Sheffield has been shortlisted to the final 24 cities and towns that could be selected to host the global event in three years’ time.

The Paul Barrière Trophy serves as the Rugby League World Cup, being awarded to the victorious team of each tournament’s final.

The cup will be visiting Sheffield next week and sports fans can get a glimpse of the prestigious four-stone silverware, plus take photos and selfies while showing their support and backing Sheffield’s bid to be a host city.

Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure at Sheffield City Council, said:

This is a fantastic opportunity for Sheffielders to get involved in the excitement and show the RFL that we are serious about hosting this world-class event.

The event will be the most inclusive in the competition’s history. For the first time all three tournaments, men’s, women’s and wheelchair, will be held in the same country at the same time. We’re confident that we are the right city to host games in all three and want everyone to join us in celebrating that.

I hope we’ll see lots of people from all ages and abilities come along, be inspired and support Sheffield in our bid to bring yet another global event to the city.

The trophy comes with an interesting story. It was stolen from a Bradford hotel ahead of the 1970 competition before turning up in a ditch in nearby Bingley 20 years later.

Originally produced at a cost of eight million francs, the 2ft 6in Paul Barrière cup, which weighs 25kg, has been restored ahead of England hosting the 2021 tournament and now looks exactly as it would have at the first Rugby League World Cup in 1954.

So it can never go missing again, and in keeping with the 2021 tournament’s aim to be the most digitally connected Rugby League World Cup ever, the cup has now been fitted with a GPS tracker. This allows its movements to be tracked at all times and means fans can follow the trophy’s progress around the world www.RLWC2021.com/trophytracker

Sheffield launched its Back the Bid activity at Sheffield United Football Club during the local derby match in front of a 30,000 audience last month.

Now the council and bid partners are asking the city to back the bid and show its support and enthusiasm for the competition. For more details about getting involved and backing the bid, go to www.sheffield.gov.uk/back-the-bid

People can pop in to the Sheffield Town Hall to see the trophy from Monday 10 December to Friday 15 December and are encouraged to share their photos on social media using #RLWC2021SHEFFIELD and #BackTheBid.

It will be open to the public at:

  • Monday: 11am – 5pm
  • Tuesday & Wednesday: 11am – 7pm
  • Thursday: 11am – 5pm
  • Friday: 9am – 1pm

It is expected that host cities will be announced in January 2019.

Ongoing back the bid activity will be posted on the Sheffield Events facebook page or on @Sheffcouncil on Twitter.