Rugby Championship Wear Wallabies Indigenous Test jersey more says Will Genia

Rugby


Halfback Will Genia would like to see the Wallabies wear their Indigenous jersey more often, as a nod to all the many different cultures represented in an increasingly cosmopolitan lineup.

While Kurtley Beale is the only Indigenous player among the regular starters, Genia, who was born in Papua New Guinea, is one of several overseas-born players who are established team members.

There were six overseas-born starters in Australia’s most recent Test against Ireland in flanker David Pocock (Zimbabwe), winger Dane Haylett-Petty (South Africa) centre Samu Kerevi and winger Marika Koroibete (both Fiji), hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa and flanker Lukhan Tui (both New Zealand).

Genia started the first two Tests against Ireland, as did New Zealand-born backrower Caleb Timu, while Tongan-born frontrowers Tolu Latu and Taniela Tupou both came off the bench in all three matches.

Fullback Israel Folau, lock Adam Coleman and prop Sekope Kepu are all of Tongan descent, while prop Scott Sio’s father David played for Samoa.

The Indigenous jersey made its debut in the final 2017 Bledisloe Cup match and is likely to be worn in at least one Test this year.

“I’d love to wear it all the time,” Genia said.

“I’m not the boss, but I certainly think it’s something that they should think about.

“Because it’s a representation of all our cultures and I think that part should be emphasised as much as any other part.

“We all come from different lands, but we call this place home, that’s why I think it’s important, because we shouldn’t refer to it as the Indigenous jersey.

“It should be just the Australian jersey in a sense, because we’re all Australian.”

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The Wallabies back says the team is studying their past failures as they look to regain the Bledisloe Cup.

Pocock also celebrated the mix of different nationalities and cultures represented among the Wallabies, which he felt ensured the side got wide support from outside the country’s boundaries.

“You look at our group, you’ve got players from all over the world different heritages,” Pocock said.

“So you know that all across the world there’s people tuning into to watch and cheer for the Wallabies.

“That means a lot as a player.”



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