Waratahs to wear Pasifika jersey

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Waratahs will wear a specially-designed Pasifika jersey in their final home game of the season, against the Jaguares.

Waratahs players chose the design, signifying the strong links many players have to their Pacific Island homes.

Lock Will Skelton, for whom the July 8 clash will be the last home game before a move to England, said the initiative was hugely significant.

“It’s a privilege to wear this jersey, not only are we representing NSW but with the patterns and the designs that we have on it, it represents my culture which is Samoa and a lot of other cultures, so it’s a massive honour,” he said in a release.

The Waratahs' Pasifika design. Photo: Supplied“I don’t have tattoos but wearing this jersey makes me feel like I do and I know there are a lot or traditions in the islands about having tattoos and there are certain rituals you have to go through. So just to have this on our jerseys, is a privilege and an honour.”

Fullback Israel Folau said it was exciting for the Polynesian players to be able to pay tribute to their heritage.

“When we go out there to play on the field, we carry our culture and that’s a big part of who we are. We just want to make our families and all our families back home proud of us,” Folau  said.

“I love the designs that have come out of the jersey. It’s obviously something that means a lot to me and the rest of the Polynesian boys in the team.”

Folau, Skelton, Taqele Naiyaravoro and Sekope Kepu will feature in a video campaign around the game as well, to honour their backgrounds.