Rugby Australia sharpens focus on First Nations Rugby

by Rugby Australia

Right before the blockbuster Bledisloe Cup clash kicks off in Perth a new partnership will be formed between Rugby Australia and the Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team.

Rugby Australia has worked alongside the ‘’Lloydies’’ team since it was established more than two decades ago with a goal to increase participation and opportunities for First Nations people through Rugby.

Now the partnership is being elevated to a new level which will see exciting initiatives come into action including new pathway programs, community workshops and a boost in revenue.

A First Nations Rugby Committee will also be formed which will be made up of members from Rugby Australia, the Lloydies Board and an Independent Chair.

Rugby Australia Chief Executive, Raelene Castle said: ‘’First and foremost, we want to give more children the opportunity to be involved in Rugby as well as provide health and educational support on the sidelines.

''We will also aim to increase the number of First Nations people donning the gold jerseys of our Qantas Wallabies, Buildcorp Wallaroos and Sevens teams."

Wallabies legend and Chair of Lloydies Gary Ella will put pen to paper on the new Memorandum of Understanding right before the Qantas Wallabies kick off against the All Blacks at a sold-out Optus Stadium on Saturday.

"We’re excited to work closer with Rugby Australia and help grow First Nations talent…it makes Aboriginal people very proud to see our next generation coming through and work their way to the top,’’ said Ella.

In another milestone, Rugby Australia will announce next week the name of the artist who will design the inaugural First Nations-inspired jersey for the Buildcorp Wallaroos. The design needed to have a strong connection with female ancestry and celebrate the strength of women. The artist will unveil the design to the team in Perth with the jersey planned to be worn during the 2021 season.