Super League adopts squad numbering

Rugby League

Rugby League

DAVE HADFIELD

The game will lose part of its familiar look in its first summer season, with Super League players wearing squad numbers.

The Council has backed a proposal from Super League chief executives that players should wear Nos 1 to 25, plus their names, on their backs when the league starts in March.

The change has marketing benefits already exploited in the NFL and Premiership football, and one of its supporters, Brian Smith of the Bradford Bulls, does not believe it will confuse spectators. "It is a better reflection of the way the game is played now, with an increased interchangability of roles," he said.

The Council has also approved a new voting structure, with four votes for each Super League club, two for those in the First Division and one each for the Second. The clubs added a rider that at least 16 of them must support any change in the game's by-laws. Blackpool, who have failed to win re-election to the Second Division, have lost their voting rights.

Clubs also unanimously adopted the revised "Framing the Future" document, with its wide-ranging requirements. They agreed that 7.5 per cent of the total of pounds 87m due to the game from News Corporation over the next five years will go into central funds. Part of that will be used to finance travel to and from Paris St-Germain.

Wakefield's new coaching director, Mitch Brennan, arrives from Australia this weekend, too late for their Silk Cut Challenge Cup tie against West Hull tonight. Warrington's signing from New Zealand, Toa Love, arrived yesterday but was not registered in time to play Leeds tomorrow.

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