THE AFL has revealed that the trial involving players having their names printed on the back of their jumpers will take place in round five of this year's home and away season.

Round five will be held across Easter, with the Brisbane Lions and Richmond kicking things off at the Gabba on the Thursday.

The round also features an Easter Monday blockbuster clash between Geelong and Hawthorn.

In an exclusive interview with on Friday morning, the League's deputy chief executive Gillon McLachlan said all 18 teams would be part of the trial.

"We've got 80-odd players coming into our game every year, and … we're obviously clearly trying to grow the game in New South Wales and Queensland, as well as in the new communities [that are] part of the third wave of immigration," he said.

"So there's a lot of people we're trying to educate about who our players are generally.

"It's about actually having our players clearly identified to all our fans."

Name plan splits fans

As for why the AFL was trialling names on the backs of jumpers rather than introducing it for an entire season, McLachlan said, "The tradition in our game is incredibly important and we want to see what the reaction is, even though it's got strong support from our clubs.

"There's also an executional element. Our jumpers are different. There's a tight space across the back because they cut in at the sleeves.

"There'll be some restrictions around the size of the letters and how that will work.

"We want to see what it looks like when we actually execute it and if it's going to work."

The backs of AFL jumpers are already busy, with many clubs, including the Sydney Swans, Western Bulldogs and the Brisbane Lions, featuring lettering that recognises their past.

"We won't touch that," McLachlan said.

"Whether it's South Melbourne on the back of the Swans' jumpers or FFC on the back of the Bulldogs' jumpers, we won't be touching that.

"We won't be messing with that tradition."

Twitter: @AFL_AdamMcNicol