"I can't resist the opportunity to mention the fact that the many fans, regular or new, watching the World Cup matches over the next five weeks will note that the numbers on the back of all the jerseys will initially be numbered 1 to 13.
"Yes, the traditional numbering system for rugby league, the numbering system used by the biggest league in the world, the NRL, and by international teams.
"Easy for recognition of players and easy for recognition of positional play.
Ray French, League Weekly, 28 October 2013.
Well, I take issue with Ray, there. Nice for him to be sitting in the commentary box, sussling tea, whilst perusing his team sheet which some kind soul has typed out after gleaning all the details from the dressing room doors.
We lesser mortals have to listen to tannoy announcements, jotting down notes whilst some latecomer squeezes past, teeming his ale over us.
Up till now, I haven't had much of a preference between squad and traditional numbers. Either was fine. But there are so many unfamiliar names and unfamiliar faces at the World Cup that I now definitely prefer squad numbers. I'm more interested in who the bloke at number seven is, rather than what position he's playing - but maybe that's just me. I can work out what position he's playing by watching the game. I'm surprised that Ray needs that numbering system but he seems to.
Finally, from Ray again .....
I can hear the words now from a player when asked by his grandchild at some time in the future, "And what number were you, granddad?"
"Oh, I was no.32 when I played at Leeds, then I was No.26 when I joined Bradford, and then I was No.19 at Huddersfield."
Enough, indeed. Because, of course, Ray, you always wore the same number, didn't you ?
Oh - and anyone remember what numbers touring teams used to wear ? Chuck Hardisty at 11 ?
Edited by Griff, 01 November 2013 - 09:28 AM.