The New South Wales Waratahs have revealed their first ever Indigenous jersey, which the Sydney-based franchise will wear for this weekend’s match against the Jaguares.
The jersey, which is made by Canterbury as usual, isn’t the first time the Waratahs have worn a special jersey to honour native cultures – they wore a striking ‘Pasifika’ shirt back in 2017 – but this is the first shirt honouring indigenous Australians.
The jersey was designed by a young artist recommended to the Waratahs by the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME), Dylan Barnes, and was launched by the Waratahs’ two indigenous players – Kurtley Beale and Cody Walker.
“I’ve always had a passion to be able to push forward my culture and raise awareness at such a platform,” said Beale, who was intimately involved in the Wallabies introducing their first indigenous jersey in 2017. “For New South Wales rugby and the Waratahs to be able to recognise and acknowledge our culture is extremely powerful and hopefully we can continue this.”
Beale went on to describe the striking pattern that adorns the jersey: “There’s fifteen of these small circles that resemble the players on the field and the lines in between, linking them all together as one to tie in with Reconciliation Week which is a big part of our history.”
“I’m very proud and honoured,” said Walker of the jersey. “The Indigenous culture is one of the oldest around, it’s hard to explain but your chest feels pretty big when you put this jersey on.”
The Waratahs will wear their 2019 Indigenous jersey for their match against the Jaguares on 25 May, and auction the game-worn will be auctioned after the game, with all proceeds going to AIME and the Richard Tombs Foundation.