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Sport Bledisloe Cup: Wallabies rule out kneeling before next week's third test

06:50  23 october  2020
06:50  23 october  2020 Source:   sportingnews.com

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The Wallabies will look at further non-political ways to honour their Indigenous heritage after coach Dave Rennie confirmed that they would not kneel before the third Bledisloe Cup match against the All Blacks.

With the Wallabies set to wear their 'First Nations' jersey for the all-important third test match on September 31 at ANZ Stadium, fullback Dane Haylett-Petty hinted that the side would consider taking a knee before the match to recognise the injustices facing Indigenous people.

This caused significant debate across the rugby community, with 1991 World Cup winner Nick Farr-Jones telling the Sydney Morning Herald that he believed that  Australia does not have 'major' issues around race.

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So, as three Wallabies players — Dane Haylett-Petty, Filipo Daugunu and Harry Wilson — modelled the jersey for the media with some pride, and in the aftermath of the comments from Beale and Ella, some questions arose in my mind. What is the significance of the Wallabies wearing a jersey that

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As the squad regroups in the Hunter Valley ahead of the Tri-Nations, Rennie has shut down any suggestions of them kneeling, confirming that the team did not wish to make a political statement whilst wearing the newly designed Indigenous jersey.

Instead, Rennie was hopeful that they could embrace the Indigenous history and culture of Australia heading forward.

“No we won’t,” he told reporters.

“The key thing is, this is about honouring our Indigenous people, we want the focus to be on that.

“We talked about the Indigenous jersey, the group would like to see that represented every week in our Test jersey, not just as a one-off, so I think this is a first step in regard to embracing that part of our history.

"We’ve talked a lot about who we are, and who we represent, and we’ve got a lot of different cultures in our group, but we’ve spent a lot of time talking about past, present and future in regards to our first nations people and this is a great opportunity to honour that next weekend.”

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This decision was backed by Rugby Australia, who was hopeful that the jersey and subsequent dialogue could help further their understanding of issues and their work within developing pathways for Indigenous players.

"Rugby Australia and the Wallabies condemn any form of racism or discrimination and also acknowledge that we are still on the path to reconciliation," RA interim CEO Rob Clarke said.

“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.

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The Wallabies have been slammed on social media after it was announced they could become the first Australian national sporting team to formally support the global Players may take a knee ahead of Bledisloe Cup Test on October 31 in Sydney. Test versus All Blacks will also see Australia don new

“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."

Former Wallaby Glen Ella backed the decision, believing that the 'First Nations' jersey will help the reconciliation process.

“The Wallabies First Nations jersey is a proud celebration of Aboriginal culture; the longest surviving culture on earth," he said.

“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."

A fan favourite scrumhalf selection is great news for the Wallabies .
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