Waratahs won’t be allowed to wear unique shirts : Deans




Crusaders coach Robbie Deans does not believe the Waratahs will be allowed to get away with a ploy to wear jerseys without numbers during the Super 14.

Starting this Saturday in the final warm up match match against the Crusaders at Aussie Stadium the Waratahs will not be wearing shirts with numbers.

They will still have numbers on their shorts but each shirt will be unique to the wearer and be worn throughout the competition.

Deans has said that there won’t be an on-field advantage in not wearing numbers and he said, “if there is a loophole (in the laws), it will soon be closed”.

“I don’t imagine Sanzar or the IRB will be excited about it. It’s not going to help the viewing public if there aren’t uniform numbers. The footage is beamed to the other side of the world and those viewers may not be familiar with the players.

“It doesn’t have a great impact out on the field of play. You only see the numbers when the players are past you. It doesn’t really give them any advantage. He suggested that “it’s a marketing ploy to promote the Waratahs and their brands. If so, it’s working.”

Waratahs wing-centre Lote Tuqiri, who will be wearing LT at Aussie Stadium on Saturday said it is “a great move”.

“The numbers aren’t significant, especially with our roving game plan, so I think it’s an initiative that makes sense rugby-wise too.” said Tuqiri

“You hear people say they’re playing two number 7s this week or something like that, well let’s not confuse the crowd by having two number 7s, let’s just put their names on their back,” New South Wales Rugby Union chief executive, Fraser Neill said.

“I think it is going to be easier for the crowd instead of saying ‘who’s playing at number five’, they can work it out for themselves because they can see it on their back.”

ACT Brumbies chief executive Andrew Fagan said he was surprised New South Wales decided on the switch from numbers to letters.

He also said it was not an idea the Brumbies were keen to adopt.

“The Brumbies will stick with tradition, it’s quite surprising in fact to see the Waratahs, who pride themselves on being the most traditional rugby organisation, come up with this move and I am somewhat flabbergasted,” said Fagan.

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