Original and current trophy
The original World Cup trophy, which is the one currently in use, was commissioned by the French Fédération Française de Rugby à XIII president Paul Barrière at a cost of eight million francs and then donated to the International Rugby League Board to be used for the inaugural competition in 1954. This trophy would be used and presented to the winning nation for the next four tournaments.
While competing in the 1970 tournament, the reigning champions, Australia, put the trophy on display in the Midland Hotel, Bradford. The trophy was stolen six days before the final and remained unseen for the next 20 years. Then, in 1990, a father-of-four named Stephen Uttley found the trophy amongst rubbish dumped in a ditch near the Bradford and Bingley Rugby League Club, in Bingley.
Mr Uttley presented officials of the Rugby Football League with the 61 centimetre high silver-plated trophy in Bradford, where he lived, it was then taken to the RFL's headquarters in Leeds. Speaking on its return, RFL spokesman David Howes commented, "It is like the return of the Holy Grail. No-one knows what its value is, but in rugby league terms it is priceless". The RFL were pleased to offer a reward to Mr Uttley for the trophy's welcome return, offering "anything except a place in the team" Howes joked. Mr Uttley asked only for some tickets to matches.
The original World Cup trophy was brought back into use for the 2000 World Cup minus the cockerel that had adorned it initially. It was presented to the victorious Australian team. The trophy featured again during the 2008 World Cup, when it was used prominently as the basis for the competition logo. It is likely this trophy will be retained for the 2013 competition and thereafter.