Rugby League World Cup Trophy Launch Event Case Study

RLWC Trophy Reveal

What was the opportunity?

We were approached by an Agency representing the Rugby League World Cup to be played in England in 2021. The original trophy was stolen in the 70’s found in the 90’s but was missing a part of the original trophy, a cockerel that adorned the top. The stealing, finding and the loss of the cockerel was described as ‘the greatest rugby mystery of our time’.

It had been decided that the original manufacturer of the trophy would create a new cockerel thus bringing the trophy back to its original

The requirement was to perform a short routine that concluded with the new trophy being revealed to an audience of executives from all competing countries and the UK press and media.

How did we respond?

The key to the proposal was the comment ‘the greatest rugby mystery of our time’. We felt strongly that this core message could be weaved into the presentation and once we knew more details of the dimensions and weight of the trophy we would be able to creatively ‘invent’ a methodology for the trophy to appear out of thin air. However at the time of writing the proposal the manner of the illusion was unknown!

What was the process prior to the show? 

We needed to visit the presentation venue in Leeds and to meet the client and the team responsible for organising the presentation. The room itself did not present any major challenges and we were pleased that the client was very open to creative ideas. Having seen the venue and heard more about the objective for the day we were able to leave and concentrate on producing an outline story of how the cup would be revealed. We now knew the measurements of the cup and its weight however were not given the opportunity to have the cup in our possession.

The storyline was developed and the magic was introduced with some small and relevant pieces leading to the final reveal. The idea was that the cup still in its presentation box had been stolen overnight and it needed a ‘master of mystery’ to make it appear!

The client approved our idea and then the work began. A script had to be written for a 10 minute performance and learned by Sean but a methodology for the trophy appearance had to be created, all without the trophy! After considerable trials using sugar bags to replicate the weight of the trophy a special cabinet was designed and built to hold the trophy providing the mechanism for the illusion. Smaller magical pieces leading up to the reveal were also developed.

What was the process before the show?

The day prior to the show Sean arrived with the illusion hardware and all the necessary props. This was the first time that the illusion would use the trophy now seen in all its glory for the first time. Unfortunately we were given the incorrect dimensions from the cup manufacturer and therefore the illusion would not work. After careful consideration the illusion was adapted and the concept proven to work although it was late into the night before the new solution worked 100%.

At 7am the next morning the team regrouped with the objective to have 2 run-throughs before guests and media arrived at 9am. Again, the illusion failed and it was another case of slight modifying under a non-negotiable time pressure!

The Show

The audience had no idea what to expect. But from the moment that Sean made a rugby ball appear out of a briefcase, taken a newspaper from the 1970’s and torn it up and then made it today’s newspaper the audience of mainly male rugby stalwarts and the press were captured. With the finale piece the new trophy appearing out of an empty trophy cabinet the audience were rapturous with their applause.

Post Show

The client was delighted, everything had gone exactly according to plan. Issues that could never have been anticipated such as the incorrect trophy sizing had been solved and the entire routine had met with universal approval from the gathered audience.

This case study, probably more than many others shows the true value of Sean Alexander. A professional that can create illusion ideas, organise their manufacture and deliver a World Class show. A performer that can ‘think on his feet’ and overcome difficulties that others could not contemplate.

The post show questionnaire.

At the conclusion of any show we ask our clients to rate us on a number of criteria. This is enclosed as an appendix


Post Show Feedback Evaluation

Thank you for booking the amazing skills of Sean Alexander.

It would help us if you could complete the feedback form below.

Please can you mark the scores out of 10.

  1.  The quality of the response to your initial enquiry – 10
  1. The quality of the administration and understanding of the process – 10
  2. The solving of any question or issues that arose – 10
  3. The performance from Sean – 10
  1. Value for money – 10
  1. Would you recommend Sean – YES

If Yes is there anybody you know that would benefit from knowing what we do?


Fantastic from day one.

We had quite a unique proposal and its one Sean and Keith jumped on board asap. They understood what we needed and delivered a fantastic show under difficult and pressured circumstances.

Throughout the whole process, Sean kept us adrift of progress and delivered solutions when problems arose.

A brilliant experience – hope we can work together again!

Matt Peden – Director
Hatch Communications

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