Newcastle Knights fullback Kalyn Ponga’s plea to the NRL

Newcastle Knights fullback Kalyn Ponga has called for the NRL to add player names on the back of jerseys.

While names are already included on State of Origin jerseys, NRL clubs currently have sponsors and numbers on the back of their kits.

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Posting to Instagram on Tuesday evening, Ponga has pleaded for names to be featured as well: “NRL put names on the back of our jerseys. I want Tuivasa-Sheck before he leaves.”

The 22-year-old also shared an image of basketball superstars Lamelo Ball and Carmelo Anthony trading jerseys after a game — a common practice in the NBA.

Kalyn Ponga’s Instagram post on Tuesday evening.Source:Instagram

Introducing names would create problems for jersey manufacturers, considering the 48-hour turnaround between squad announcements on Tuesday afternoon and live play on Thursday evening.

Regardless, rugby league reporter Katie Brown believes it would be a worthwhile venture for the NRL.

“Even if it is a merchandising gimmick, it’s making money,” Brown told SEN 1170 Mornings.

“I’m sure there would be so many people wanting a Kalyn Ponga jersey with his name on the back.”

Names on @NRL jerseys… YAY / NAY? Full chat on @VossySEN 😄🏉📲 pic.twitter.com/ddchP3dQqr

The players names on NRL jerseys is a great idea, especially for merch sales. Imagine how many of these the Yankees sell every year … pic.twitter.com/u9BTShUJtl

I like it https://t.co/gor5pYiIZu

Fox League commentator Andrew Voss echoed Brown’s comments, proposing that players could be given exclusive numbers, rather than allocated 1-21 depending on their position.

“I think there’s more pluses than minuses to it,” Voss said.

“We have it in Origin, they put the names on the jersey.

“It would be expensive in the NRL, that jersey would be exclusive to the player, but we’re a professional sport, I think we can cover it.”

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