THE RUGBY League World Cup, which went missing for two decades up to 1990 after being stolen from a Bradford hotel, 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 pinched from a Bradford hotel ahead of the 1970 tournament before turning up in a ditch in Bingley 20 years later.

It has now been fully restored by former Bradford firm Fattorini, complete with the missing cockerel, ahead of England hosting the 2021 tournament and was unveiled at a World Cup event in Leeds on Friday morning.

Jon Dutton, chief executive of RLWC 2021, said: "We're absolutely delighted to have worked with the team at Fattorini to return the Paul Barriere Cup to its full former glory incorporating the original design.

"As a rugby league fan, this is a very proud moment that we want people to share in and enjoy.

"However, 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.

"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."

Fattorini are famous for designing the FA Cup trophy, first won in 1911 by Bradford City and still in use.

The Rugby League World Cup trophy was on show at a special exhibition in Bradford City Hall back in August in conjunction with Bradford Council's bid to host matches in the 2021 Women's World Cup.

Meanwhile, Dutton says the focus on the next World Cup will be to provide a lasting legacy, having learned the lessons from the last tournament hosted by the Rugby Football League in 2013.

Although that competition drew an aggregate attendance of 458,000 and delivered a handsome profit, Dutton says organisers are committed to making the next one the biggest and best yet.

"This has to be a mega sporting event that transcends rugby league," he said at a media briefing.

"If we are really honest about 2013, we worked with a small team on a shoestring budget and focused on delivering a tournament and filling venues and there wasn't a demonstrable legacy programme."

Organisers secured £25million worth of Government funding, including £10m currently available to community clubs to ensure a visible and lasting legacy.

Dutton says his team have drawn up a short-list of 20 potential venues which will 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.

There is a commitment to staging games in London but Dutton says that 80 per cent of fixtures will be held in the northern powerhouse.

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," said Dutton, who addressed the congress in York.