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Folau's number up, so Greene takes over

James Dampney  January 18, 2013 2:46 PM

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Toby Greene will wear No.4 for GWS this season

We felt that the players who performed well for the club in their first year deserved the opportunity to pick up an earlier number if they wished

RISING star Toby Greene will don Greater Western Sydney's highest selling jumper this season – Israel Folau's former No.4 guernsey.

The Giants have unveiled their new numbers for their second season the AFL, with Greene to step into the club's most popular number in its short history following Folau's decision to quit the sport.

Despite his failure to flourish as an AFL player, former rugby league international Folau still proved enormously popular to GWS' initial fan base in western Sydney and easily had the club's highest selling jumper.

It will now be worn by 19-year-old Greene, who had a brilliant rookie season in the No.35 in 2012, finishing second in the club's best and fairest award.

Fellow young midfielders Devon Smith and Taylor Adams will also wear new numbers in 2013 - 10 and 11 respectively.

In a sign of the evolving times at the fledgling club, Smith inherits the number previously worn by veteran Dean Brogan and Adams has taken Chad Cornes' former number.

Brogan will now wear 50 and Cornes 53 this coming season.

Lachie Whitfield, the top selection in the 2012 NAB AFL Draft, has been handed the honour of retired Giant Luke Power's No.6.

"We felt that the players who performed well for the club in their first year deserved the opportunity to pick up an earlier number if they wished," coach Kevin Sheedy said.

"We also obviously see Lachie Whitfield as a very talented young player and it's an honour for him to wear the number worn by Luke Power, who was such a great champion for more than 300 AFL games."

No.2 draft pick Jonathan O'Rourke will wear No.24 and fellow 2012 draftees Lachie Plowman (No.30), Kristian Jaksch (No.34), Aidan Corr (No.35) and James Stewart (No.36) have been assigned their numbers.

Former Hawthorn premiership player Stephen Gilham will wear No.38 and former Carlton defender Bret Thornton will wear No.46.

Sheedy also hopes AFL players' names will one day be displayed on the back of their jumpers.

"This would be great for the fans, particularly in New South Wales and Queensland," he said.

"It would be a very simple thing that would help promote the stars of our game."

James Dampney is a reporter for AFL.com.au. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_JD