Rugby Australia Statement

by Rugby Australia

Rugby Australia interim Chief Executive Rob Clarke said: “Rugby Australia and the Wallabies condemn any form of racism or discrimination and also acknowledge that we are still on the path to reconciliation.

“The First Nations jersey is a strong statement in itself. It has a truly global impact in raising awareness and in recognising the issues facing First Nations people. Rugby Australia and the Wallabies are incredibly proud to wear it, what it means and who it represents.

“Rugby Australia has established the First Nations Rugby committee in partnership with the Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team as it continues to investigate more opportunities to expand on community, pathways and high performance initiatives as well as last year’s incredibly successful DreamBigTime Tour.

“I’m really pleased the players and management have come together to speak about this, as they would with other important social issues. It was measured, appropriate and mature and I congratulate the team as they explore more opportunities to recognise issues facing First Nations people and all Australians,” Clarke said.

Patron of Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team Patron and former Wallaby Gary Ella said: “The Wallabies First Nations jersey is a proud celebration of Aboriginal culture; the longest surviving culture on earth.

“Wearing the jersey is an act of reconciliation and a reminder that Rugby is an inclusive sport for all people to participate in.

“I support the Wallabies in their decision and It’s important that we continue discussions about race and remind ourselves that reconciliation is not just one act but millions of small ones that serves to heal all Australians," Ella said