Warriors' victory, Warriors' trophy

NATIONAL Rugby League administrators swear that the real NRL trophy will wing its way here if the Warriors beat the Manly Sea Eagles on Sunday.

In August Rugby World Cup bosses admitted there were two William Webb Ellis trophies - one had been doing the publicity rounds in New Zealand while another trophy had undergone repairs in London.

Rugby World Cup 2011 Ltd reckoned both had been used at tournaments and were of equal stature.

The NRL has three trophies which are used for promotional purposes, media events, display and community tours.

But the real Telstra Premiership Trophy will sit in an Auckland trophy case if Captain Simon Mannering holds it aloft, marketing director Paul Kind said.

"They will bring the real one to New Zealand and they will keep [it] until next year's grand final - we would expect during the time they have it the club would showcase it through New Zealand."

If it does find its way across the Tasman it will be the trophy's first international flight.

However, this Sunday it will get airborne when it's choppered into Sydney's ANZ Stadium.

Mr Kind found a diplomatic way to say most Australians would find it being in New Zealand rather hard to stomach.

He said: "Certainly Australians wouldn't be overly pleased with it leaving our shores having never had it leave - it would be a unique [experience]."

Based on the old Winfield Cup which featured a bronze cast of two mud drenched players - St George's Norm Provan and Western Suburbs' Arthur Summons - embracing after the 1963 grand final, the current trophy has been in play since 1999.

It once went missing when Australian carrier Qantas accidentally put it on a plane to Perth instead of Melbourne.


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