Wed 10 October
Rugby League World Cup stars past and present, including Martin Offiah, Ray French and Dave Rose gathered at the George Hotel in Huddersfield, the birthplace of Rugby League yesterday to give the trophy a special send-off. It will travel across the UK in the next six weeks and on into 2013.
As part of the celebrations a class of schoolchildren from Scholes Junior School in Holmfirth performed a version of the dramatic scene from the now famous meeting of the Northern Union which created Rugby League. The mini-play was given special gravitas by the fact that the children performed in the actual room where the famous meeting is thought to have taken place.
The 61cm high, silver-plated trophy has a fascinating and illustrious past. It was commissioned by Paul Barrière, a former French Resistance fighter, for Rugby League’s inaugural 1954 World Cup. Great Britain won that tournament so it was especially poignant that the family of Dave Valentine, sadly now deceased, the winning captain, were at the launch. Dave Rose, who also played in the match for Great Britain, made the trip from the Scottish borders with his family.
RLWC2013 Tournament Director, Nigel Wood said: “This magnificent trophy was one of the great Paul Barrière’s many gifts to our game and deserves to be seen by as many people as possible.
“As part of our promotional plans for the tournament, the trophy will travel around the UK throughout the rest of 2012 and on into next year – right up to the first game at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff on October 26 2013.
“We’d like to thank reigning champions New Zealand for giving us the opportunity to take the trophy on the road in this way and also the children from Scholes Junior School for their great performance”.
The highlights of the tour in 2012 including visits to Downing Street, The Senedd at The National Assembly for Wales, The St Helens’ Schools Whittle Cup Festival and Old Trafford, as well as the forthcoming Autumn International series matches at Lens, Wrexham, Hull and Salford.
Confirmed Trophy Tour Dates for 2012
Tues Oct 9 Launch, George Hotel Huddersfield
Fri Oct 12 Wigan Business Expo, DW Stadium Wigan
Weds Oct 17 Whittle Cup Schools Festival St Helens
Thurs Oct 18 Langtree Park St Helens
Sat Oct 20 France v Wales Lens
Fri Oct 26 ‘1 Year to Go’ event MediaCityUK
Sat Oct 27 Wales v England Wrexham
Mon Oct 29 Civic reception Warrington
Tues Oct 30 All Parliamentary Group London
Weds Oct 31 Parliament & Downing Street (a.m.) London
Weds Oct 31 Welsh National Assembly (p.m) Cardiff
Fri Nov 2 Community Day Hull
Sat Nov 3 England v France Hull
Thurs Nov 8 Christmas Lights Switch-on Leeds
Fri Nov 9 Community Day Manchester
Sun Nov 11 Autumn International series final Salford
Tues Nov 13 Bolton Expo Bolton
Thurs Nov 15 Christmas Lights Switch-on Wigan
Sat Nov 17 Christmas Lights Switch-on Rochdale
Fri Nov 30 ‘1 Year to the Final’ event Old Trafford