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“I cannot believe it”: Johns states his problem with the World Cup jersey numbers


SEN’s Matty Johns has slammed the Australian Kangaroos’ decision to give its players numbers in order of appearances for the country.

The announcement of this decision by the World Cup organisers on Thursday morning caused widespread outrage in the rugby league community, viewed as a poor choice away from an age-old tradition in the sport.

Halfbacks Daly Cherry-Evans and Ben Hunt will be wearing the number two and three jerseys throughout the tournament, as Latrell Mitchell and Josh Addo-Carr will be handed the eight and nine jerseys respectively.

Speaking to SEN, Johns noted that the players should earn their numbers on a game-by-game basis throughout the tournament.

“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,” Johns said on SEN 1170 The Run Home.

“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.

“The traditional jerseys and numbers are part of the history of the sport, and you shouldn’t tamper with it.

“For the people who are the casual observer… you be saying sorry who is what, particularly these days with players who wonder in the field, you have forwards who play a bit, they’ll (casual fans) be just saying who are these guys, it doesn’t make sense to me at all.”

Johns’ backlash on the number system is seemingly a consensus view amongst the rugby league community but looks like it will not change the decision ahead of the World Cup.

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