The Eden Project in Cornwall welcomed the Rugby League World Cup trophies today (Friday) in a preview ahead of their 50-day National Lottery Trophies Tour around the country.
With excitement building towards the Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair competitions which start in October, visitors to the home of the world-famous Biomes were able to catch a glimpse of all three trophies and have photographs taken with the clinquant silverware.
The special occasion was the first time the Rugby League World Cup trophies have visited Cornwall.
Players and staff from the Duchy’s very own professional rugby league club Cornwall RLFC were also on hand to talk to visitors about the impact of this year’s competition and the Choughs’ debut season after they were formed last year.
The trophies will remain in the Duchy over the weekend and they will be present at Cornwall RLFC’s final Betfred League 1 home game on Sunday.
Neil Kelly’s men host Oldham Roughyeds at the Memorial Ground, Penryn with a 1.00pm kick-off.
Dan James, Eden's Development Director, said: “"We are absolutely delighted to welcome the Rugby League World Cup trophies to Eden today.
“At Eden we are strong believers in bringing people and communities together and sport is a great example of this in action. We look forward to watching what is sure to be an exciting tournament."
The 16th Rugby League World Cup takes place from October 15 to November 19 and will see Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair competitions take place simultaneously at a World Cup for the very first time.
A total of 32 teams will take part in the three tournaments, competing at 21 elite venues across 18 host towns and cities.
And in another first for a global rugby league competition, every minute of every game will be broadcast across the platforms of host broadcaster the BBC.
Jon Dutton, Rugby League World Cup 2021 Chief Executive, said: “Cornwall is home to some iconic English landmarks, so it’s fitting for our trophies to tour around that part of the world, as well as visiting Cornwall RLFC.
“We are committed to delivering the biggest, best and most inclusive Rugby League World Cup in history later this year, so we are very grateful to everyone who has been involved in facilitating the trophies’ visit to Cornwall and helping us promote our fantastic sport within the local communities.”
Rob Butland, Cornwall RLFC’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “As a club, we were thrilled to help bring the three Rugby League World Cup trophies to the Eden Project.
“The support from a world-renowned visitor attraction like Eden gives rugby league in Cornwall a massive boost as our first ever professional season ends with Oldham - our visitors on Sunday.
“We see that game as a chance to celebrate our first season and to do so with three trophies that symbolise the pinnacle of rugby league, will add even more prestige to the day.
“The three trophies are world famous and to have them in Cornwall, supporting our journey and development whilst we support the biggest and most inclusive World Cup ever, is something we as a club have been working on for a number of months.
“Since our season began in April, our support has been incredible and we know that our last home game of the season will bring the fans out in force again for a momentous day.
“The Rugby League World Cup trophies being with us signifies a fitting end to a landmark year for rugby league in Cornwall, and for Cornwall RLFC.”