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Behind the Ross-Fitzgibbon playing number controversy

Nathan Ross and Lachlan Fitzgibbon both made their NRL debut three years ago.

They debuted in the same game.

It was Round 21, 2015 against St George Illawarra in Kogarah.

Ross started on the left wing, while Fitzgibbon started from the bench.

It's a bond they share.

A memory treasured but this magical moment is marred in controversy.

"Our biggest dilemma, Lachie and I from this, is our debut numbers," Ross joked on the Our Town Our Team podcast.

"There's some controversy around this and I won't give this up until the numbers are changed.


"I'm debut number 262 and Lachlan Fitzgibbon is 261. I took the field before Lachlan.

"I should be 261. I got on the field first. When people look back through the records in 100 years' time, they're going to see that he debuted before me."

So how did the numbering come to be?

"It's an alphabetical thing where I think the NRL and Knights need to change to who gets put on the field first," Ross stated.

Kurt's Call: Representative Round edition

"Even if it's people fighting for where they stand in the line to run on before the other person."

While some players have had their debut number tattooed on them, it's safe to say Ross won't be getting his inked on his person any time soon.

In fact, he still jokes with Fitzgibbon that the backrower has the wrong number.

"I believe within myself that it's 261," he said.

"We've had numerous conversations over dinner.

"I told him to relinquish the number and give it to me and trade numbers, but he reckons he's attached to it."

Hear the rest of the story by clicking on the podcast above.