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Wallabies' Indigenous jersey a winner

Kurtley Beale in the Wallabies' Indigenous jersey worn in the match against New Zealand.
Kurtley Beale in the Wallabies' Indigenous jersey worn in the match against New Zealand. DAVE HUNT

THE Wallabies' upset win over the All Blacks was made all the more memorable by the team's historic Indigenous jerseys.

And the positive reaction to the design means it won't be a one-off.

Although the NRL and AFL have held Indigenous rounds in their regular season for several years, the new-look jersey worn by the Wallabies in Brisbane on Saturday was the first of its kind by an Australian national sporting team.

The Australian Rugby Union was waiting to see how the jersey was received by the public and players before making a decision on whether to make it a more regular fixture.

And, given the hugely popular response to the jersey and the drought-breaking 23-18 win over the All Blacks that came with it, discussions have already begun on how best to continue to embrace the concept going forward.

"The response to the Indigenous jersey was overwhelmingly positive among fans, past and current players, and most importantly within the Indigenous community,” an ARU spokesman told foxsports.com.au.

"There have been preliminary discussions about using the jersey again in future and we will confirm our plans in due course.

"It was great to see so many of the Indigenous jerseys in the crowd on Saturday night and it has been an popular seller since launched in July.”

Australian star Kurtley Beale, who is one of 14 players of Indigenous heritage to have played for the Wallabies, unveiled the jersey earlier in the year.

As well as having the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags on either arm, 14 waterholes feature on the jersey - designed by Sydney artist Dennis Golding - to symbolise the 14 players of Indigenous descent to have played for the Wallabies.

On Monday, Beale said in an Instagram post that he hoped the Indigenous jersey would be here to stay.

"Difficult to put into words how much this game, this jersey, has meant to me and all my teammates. We need the Indigenous jersey to continue on. Thank you to everyone who has supported it ... hopefully the start of something much bigger for everyone associated with Australian Rugby,” Beale wrote.

In the lead-up to the Test, Wallabies centurion Matt Giteau took to Twitter to express his regret that the jersey wasn't around during his 15-year international career.

Following Australia's win in Bledisloe III, Giteau added that he'd like the Wallabies to wear the jersey in every Test.

Topics:  aru indigenous jersey kurtley beale wallabies


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