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The Sydney Roosters will celebrate their Thursday night clash with South Sydney at Allianz Stadium with a special name change.
For one night only, they will become the Eastern Suburbs Roosters again.
Nick Politis is excited about the temporary new name. “We’ve enjoyed a special rivalry with Souths for over 100 years and have a rich history as the Eastern Suburbs Roosters, we can’t think of a better game to return to our roots. We’ve won 11 premierships as Easts, so it means a lot. We’ve always wanted to go back to Eastern Suburbs, but the NRL said it’s too expensive to change all the merchandise. Hopefully the fans’ll embrace it and I can squeeze Greenberg and co for a permanent name change for 2019. I’ll chip in the extra cost if they need it.”
The Roosters were known as Eastern Suburbs from 1908 until 1995, when they changed to the Sydney City Roosters – as the New South Wales Rugby League became the Australian Rugby League – and later the Sydney Roosters.
To further legitimise the celebration, Easts players will wear a limited retro jersey, with the old Eastern Suburbs red rooster logo replacing the current logo. Souths will also wear their traditional all-red-and-green jersey.
Both Easts and Souths’ retro jerseys will be sold to fans during the game, then made available online and in stores. “Fans love the retro jerseys, we’re going to make so much money,” Politis said.
Plans to make the teams wear cotton jerseys were rejected by Roosters coach Trent Robinson and Rabbitohs coach Anthony Seibold.
“Cotton? Seriously? No-one’s worn cotton for over a decade,’ Robinson said. “I’m all for retro jerseys, but the boys won’t be able to run in those things.”
“We’re happy to dump those awful side stripes, but no cotton, that’s just insane,” Seibold said. “It’s like playing an old Game Boy. It’s fun for five minutes until the batteries die, then you’ve got to go to the store.”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull – the Roosters’ new number one fan – will present the retro jerseys to Easts players before the game.
The Forward Pass is a fictional and deliberately ridiculous look at the NRL. References to real people is for satirical purposes only. Check it out on Twitter @thefwdpass