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First Nations culture to be recognised on Wallabies gold jersey

Wed, 08/09/2021, 2:45 am
Rugby Australia
by Rugby Australia
The Wallabies gold jersey will now feature the First Nations design | Rugby AU Media
The Wallabies gold jersey will now feature the First Nations design | Rugby AU Media

The Wallabies will add the First Nations design to their new gold jersey with the numbering set to embrace a fresh look.

The design, which is seen in Australia’s existing First Nations jersey designed by Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay artist Dennis Golding, will be incorporated into the playing numbers starting this weekend against South Africa at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast.

It will mark the first time an Australian representative team will bear both the coat of arms and a First Nations design in its primary playing strip.

Additionally, Rugby Australia can confirm that the Wallabies will wear the First Nations jersey for the team’s Test match in Townsville against Argentina.

The First Nations design celebrates and recognises Australian Rugby’s First Nations peoples with the artwork also highlighting all communities coming together as one.

The Wallabies debuted their First Nations jersey in 2017 when they overcame the All Blacks in a memorable victory at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.The team then took the jersey to Twickenham to play England at the home of Rugby before celebrating and recognising Australia’s First Nations’ history at the 2019 Rugby World Cup when they played Uruguay.

The jersey has been worn on another two occasions during the 2020 Tri Nations when the side faced New Zealand and Argentina in Sydney.

Wearing the jersey in Townsville will add to an already historic weekend of Rugby with the All Blacks set to play the Springboks in the 100th Test match between the two nations.

Additionally, wearing the jersey in Townsville will culminate in a week of activities and initiatives for the team with a link to country and culture a key focus for the Wallabies ahead of their match on September 25.

Throughout the week, the Wallabies will engage with the local Rugby community and members of North Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations as they look to broaden their understanding of their country’s history.

Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie said: “This jersey holds significance to every member of our team, and to have the First Nations artwork now on our primary jersey is something incredibly special.

“It was the players who had been advocating for the idea of a permanent First Nations addition, and I’m pleased we’ve been able to come up with a solution with ASICS which will feature on the new-look jersey.

“We place a great deal of thought as to when and where we will wear it, and Townsville is an obvious choice – it boasts a strong First Nations community who we represent, and when we wear this jersey, we feel it will provide us with an even stronger connection with our people.

“As a squad, we pride ourselves on culture and inclusivity, and that’s what the First Nations jersey represents, and to now have it on both jerseys is something special for our Rugby community,” Rennie said.

Rugby Australia Chief Executive Andy Marinos said: “It’s a truly historic occasion to be able to announce the incorporation of the First Nations design on the team’s primary jersey.

“I’d also like to thank Mark Brunton and his team at ASICS for their support this year; from the new-look jersey to the inclusion of the First Nations design, we couldn’t ask for a more supportive partner.

“As a team and Rugby family, we pride ourselves on our values of inclusivity and teamwork, and now both of our jerseys will do this, in being inclusive of all Australians.”

“To wear the First Nations jersey in Townsville is also a momentous occasion. It will be our first match there, and with such a passionate First Nations community, we hope to make a real connection and forge strong bonds with that community.

“I’d encourage everyone if they haven’t already to take up a slice of the action, whether it’s Cbus Super Stadium this Sunday to watch the first-ever doubleheader in Tier One history, or up in Townsville to see the First Nations jersey on home soil - the 2021 eToro Rugby Championship is one not to miss,” Marinos said.

Tickets and hospitality packages are still on sale for the 2021 eToro Rugby Championship, while the Wallabies First Nations jersey is currently on sale via wallabies.rugby