Australia to wear bizarre squad numbers in Rugby League World Cup

In this year’s Rugby League World Cup, a few things are being done slightly differently to previous iterations of the tournament.

Not only is it set to be the most inclusive World Cup ever with the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments taking place concurrently, it is also the largest men’s tournament we’ve seen in isolation.

We are also set to see the first use of the 18th man rule in the UK after it was introduced in the NRL meaning that if a team loses three or more players to head injuries they can bring on their 18th man.

Meanwhile, in a shift from previous tournaments, this World Cup is set to use squad numbers. In most international games, teams always where 1-17 with their jersey number reflective of where they were named for that particular fixture.

However, this year’s tournament will see every play given a squad number from 1-24 much like in Super League. These squad numbers are usually also reflective of a player’s position with then first choice fullback wearing one for example.

So, you can expect Sam Tomkins to wear the number one shirt throughout the tournament for England whilst as England’s first choice winger Tommy Makinson will either wear two or five though given he wears two for St Helens it will most likely be the former.

However, this will not be the case for Australia. Going into the World Cup there has been plenty of talk about who will be Mal Meninga’s number seven with a choice between NRL winning hero Nathan Cleary and Daly Cherry-Evans who stood out in the role for the Prime Minister’s XIII the other day.

However, neither will get that shirt number with it going to five-eighth Cameron Munster. Why? Because he is the sixth longest serving Australian international named in the squad.

Except for skipper James Tedesco who will wear the number one shirt – a jersey that does reflect his position – the rest of the numbers are given to reflect a player’s longevity in the international game.

So, as Australia’s longest serving current player Daly Cherry-Evans wears the number two shirt.

This system means we will see winger Josh Addo-Carr wear the number nine shirt and brilliant back Latrell Mitchell wear the number eight.

Those yet to debut for their country wear shirts assigned alphabetically so Nathan Cleary will wear the number 14 shirt.

Here’s their squad numbers in full:

  1. James Tedesco
  2. Daly Cherry-Evans
  3. Ben Hunt
  4. Valentine Holmes
  5. Jake Trbojevic
  6. Reagan Campbell-Gillard
  7. Cameron Munster
  8. Latrell Mitchell
  9. Josh Addo-Carr
  10. Jack Wighton
  11. Cameron Murray
  12. Matt Burton
  13. Pat Carrigan
  14. Nathan Cleary
  15. Lindsay Collins
  16. Reuben Cotter
  17. Angus Crichton
  18. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui
  19. Campbell Graham
  20. Harry Grant
  21. Liam Martin
  22. Jeremiah Nanai
  23. Murray Tuilagi
  24. Isaah Yeo
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Phil
Phil
1 month ago

Wear not where lol.