“This jersey holds significance to every member of our team, to have the First Nations artwork now on our primary jersey is something incredibly special”.
Australia’s national rugby team, the Wallabies, will permanently and proudly represent the Australian coat of arms along with a First Nations design on their primary playing uniform for the first time in history. According to Rugby Australia, featuring this Indigenous artwork on their gold playing jersey “celebrates and recognizes Australian rugby’s First Nations peoples.”
The team will debut the new jersey, which incorporates Indigenous artwork by the Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay artist Dennis Golding, in the numbers on the back during tomorrow’s Rugby Championship Test against world champions South Africa on the Gold Coast. The team will don them again for the test match against Argentina in Townsville at the end of the month.
Dennis Golding’s artwork already has a place on the team’s existing First Nations strip, which was used during a match against the All Blacks in 2017—a memorable introduction as the Wallabies managed an unexpected win over the All Blacks while wearing the uniform for the first time at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium. Since then, it has only been worn by the players four times.
According to Dave Rennie, the Wallabies coach, it was the players who pushed for Indigenous representation to become a permanent fixture. “This jersey holds significance to every member of our team, to have the First Nations artwork now on our primary jersey is something incredibly special,” Rennie says. “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.”