Players have been issued a number based on alphabetical order in their first game on tour. If they made their debut as a replacement then the order is based on their time of appearance.
"We have long been aware that players have playing numbers from their respective countries and we felt it would be a great way to bring together everyone who has played for the Lions," said tour manager Andy Irvine.
"The important thing for us was that everyone had to have pulled on the shirt and played for the Lions. That meant leaving out some players who actually went on tour, but were then unable to play.
"The Lions committee decided to include all games on the regular tours to the southern hemisphere as well as the three tours to Argentina. There were also other games that came into consideration.
"But in all cases a player has to have got onto the field of play to be given a Lions playing number."
There are 13 players in the current squad who have played for the Lions on previous tours. They will all carry forward a number. Those players making their debuts from the start of the game against the Barbarians will be numbered alphabetically. To date there have ben 776 British & Irish Lions.
Of the new Lions playing against the Barbarians Wales wing Alex Cuthbert will pick up the next Lions number, 777, while Mako Vunipola will hold the highest at 787. Any of the replacements who have not yet earned a number will earn their numbers based on the time they come onto the field, or alphabetically if more than one comes on at the same time.
It is a thread that links the players of 2013 all the way back to the pioneers of 1888, and the Lion with first number, Salford and Lancashire three-quarter Jack Anderton, who played against Otago in Dunedin on 28 April, 1888.
|500||Arthur Lewis||Ebbw Vale||1971|
|Player||Shirt No||Lions No|
|Alun Wyn Jones||19||761|