Former Leeds Rhinos star Luke Gale has been given a surprise shirt number for his new club Keighley Cougars in 2023.
He has been given the number 31 shirt for the new season.
The former Man of Steel, Castleford Tigers and Hull FC star was likely expected to wear seven like most of his career.
However, Jack Miller will wear seven as Gale takes on 31 which is ironic given that this former Leeds teammate Jack Walker was surprisingly given the number 31 shirt at Bradford Bulls last night and not the number one shirt.
Gale’s surprise move is in keeping with the tradition implemented in the squad number system since the appointment of Lovegrove as Head Coach, those who served the club in the prior season take the so-called starting numbers with those brought into the club given the higher numbers.
This means players like Lewis Young and Nathan Roebuck, who wore 30 and 27 respectively last season, will this season wear the number 1 and 4 jerseys.
Other movers from the 2022 squad see Dan Parker and Billy Gaylor move to the 8 and 9 shirts with Kyle Trout wearing the 11 jersey for the upcoming year.
Alix Stephenson is also a mover as he moves from 18 to 2, whilst Toby Everett takes the number 10 shirt after making his loan move from Batley permanent for the 2023 season.
In fact Gale will wear the 31 shirt at his own request with Gale’s fellow new signings taking numbers 19 through 28, the only exception being the 22 jersey which has been granted to Dane Chisholm at the request of the half-back.
Jake Webster, who has worn the 3 shirt since first joining the club in 2020, will take the 33 jersey for the season pending as he begins the transition onto the coaching staff.