The Wallabies will have an indigenous design on their regular jerseys from the South Africa test on Sunday to “celebrate and recognize the First Nations people” in Australian rugby, the sport’s governing body said on Wednesday.
Artist Dennis Golding’s design will be incorporated into the game numbers on their jerseys for the rugby championship clash against the Springboks on the Gold Coast and in subsequent matches, Rugby Australia said. “This will be the first time that an Australian representative team will wear both the coat of arms and a design of the First Nations in its main game strip,” RA said in a statement.
Australia already have an alternative native jersey with Golding’s artwork that was first worn in the 2017 win over New Zealand in Brisbane. This jersey will be worn for the Rugby Championship test against Argentina in Townsville on September 25.
“Having the First Nations artwork now on our main jersey is something incredibly special,” said Wallabies coach Dave Rennie. “It was the players who championed the idea of a permanent addition to the First Nations, and I’m happy that we were able to find a solution.
Fourteen native Australians played test rugby, including the famous Ella brothers. Utility full-back Kurtley Beale, who won the last of his 92 caps at the 2019 World Cup in Japan, is the last Indigenous Australian to play for the Wallabies, although uncapped winger Andy Muirhead is part of the team. ‘Rennie’s Rugby Championship team.
“Having something like this on the jerseys every week is a big step forward,” ACT Brumbies’ Muirhead, an Australian aboriginal, told reporters on the Gold Coast on Wednesday. “That the boys can go out every week and show off Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island culture is pretty special.”
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