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English Rugby
Tigers return to lettered jerseys
ESPNscrum Staff
October 27, 2010
A general view of play during the Guinness Premiership Semi Final match between Leicester Tigers and Bath at Welford Road, Leicester, May 16, 2010
Welford Road will welcome the return an old friend, lettered jerseys, against Australia © Getty Images
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Leicester will go back to the future next month after deciding to don lettered jerseys when they take the field against Australia at Welford Road.

The Tigers traditionally wore letters on their backs instead of numbers but had to change with the dawn of professionalism and a change in Premiership rules. But the club are to take the opportunity of facing the touring Wallabies on November 9 to reintroduce letters on a one-off basis.

And Leicester will be hoping to make history in their old-school jerseys after they beat South Africa last year.

"An international fixture on home soil is an historic occasion for the club and the perfect fixture to reflect our roots with the use of lettered shirts," club chairman Peter Tom said.

The lettered shirts are to be sold after the match with the proceeds going to charity. Director of rugby Richard Cockerill has also introduced letters to the front of Tigers' playing shirts this season, sitting between the club badge and the logo of main sponsors.

"I wanted to keep some of the great traditions of the club and putting the letters on the shirts is a good way of doing that," said Cockerill, a famous member of the ABC club front-row in the 1990s.

"When we bring in players or guys come out of the academy and step up into the first team, we can point to the letters on the shirts and tell them about the players they are following and the standards they set wearing those shirts. It's great to be able to wear the lettered shirts for the Australia game too.

"Not many clubs have the opportunity to play against national teams and it is the history of this club that gets us into a position to be able to do that. We hold the traditions of the game close to our hearts and having the letters is a great way of showing it."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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