The Rugby League World Cup has unveiled RugBee as the official mascot of this year’s tournament.
The competition to design the mascot was thrown open for young people to put forward their own ideas on what form the mascot should take.
More than 2,000 entries came in from young fans, from which the final choice has now been made.
After whittling down the extensive shortlist, two entries were put forward to be part of the final design for ‘RugBee’.
RLWC2021 chief executive Jon Dutton, said: “We were delighted to receive so many brilliant mascot entries, reflecting the enthusiasm and excitement that is continuing to grow for the tournament and it was incredibly difficult to whittle down the entries to the final two.
“The bee is synonymous with Manchester and to unveil RugBee in the city where we will host all three tournament finals feels like a really wonderful moment for Rugby League World Cup 2021.
“Bees are known for their industrious nature and RugBee will certainly be working hard throughout the tournament attending every single one of our 61 matches.”
The design for RugBee was inspired by entries from nine-year-olds James Hanley, from St Joseph’s Primary Academy in Halifax, and Samuel Liptrot, from Cavendish Community Primary School in Manchester.
They were informed of their success, alongside their excited classmates, during a school assembly with a video message from St Helens and England player Tommy Makinson, and have received tickets to the World Cup finals.
Makinson said: “Well done to Samuel and James. Their designs were brilliant and I’m buzzing to see what the mascot will look like in person. Hopefully it will be a lucky charm for England and we will see you at the final at Old Trafford.”