Rugby

Wallabies to wear indigenous-themed jersey at Rugby World Cup

AFP-JIJI

The Wallabies will wear an indigenous-themed jersey for at least one Rugby World Cup match, it was revealed Thursday.

Australia has donned a shirt paying tribute to Aborigines’ role in rugby twice before — at home against the All Blacks in 2017 and away to England last year.

The Wallabies will do so again by wearing their green, indigenous-themed alternate strip in the World Cup group game against Uruguay, and are also pressing to use it if they make the semifinals.

“I’m extremely proud and honored to hopefully have the opportunity to wear this in the World Cup,” said Wallabies star Kurtley Beale, who is of Aboriginal heritage, in unveiling the shirt.

“It’s obviously a special moment, a pinnacle moment for Australian rugby to be able to recognize and acknowledge first nations peoples in such a beautiful jersey.”

More than a dozen players of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent have represented Australia, including Mark Ella, Lloyd Walker, Wendell Sailor and Saia Faingaa.

Australia open its campaign against Fiji on September 21 in Sapporo. Wales, Georgia and Uruguay are also in the same group.