Ex-Wigan Warriors halfback lays blame for strange squad numbers at tournament organisers and Australia

There’s been plenty of talk about Australia’s squad numbers going into the World Cup.

They quite bizarrely chose to not use squad numbers that indicate their position and instead have gone for squad numbers that indicate the longevity of their international career.

Skipper James Tedesco has the number one shirt, number two then goes to Daly Cherry-Evans as the longest serving player in the squad and this system is in place until you reach the debutants who are then awarded shirt numbers based on alphabetical order.

This has left many unhappy with the decision and former Australian number six, Newcastle Knights great and Wigan Warriors Grand Finalist Matthew Johns has said he “hates it” according to 9News.

He told SEN: “I cannot believe it, each game you should earn your jersey one through 17, the couple of sixes (Test jerseys) I got, they’re the special ones because they’re the ones you earned.”

He laid blame for it at the feet of the organisers for deciding to use squad numbers in a departure from the traditions of the international game as well as Australia for using the system: “During the game, I think looking at Latrell (Mitchell) in the number eight jersey, for the organisers I think they’ve got it wrong, and Australia I think we’ve got it wrong, I honestly hate it.”

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