Murphy pushes for Indigenous Sevens jersey

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Aussie Sevens player Mahalia Murphy hopes the Sevens can follow in the Wallabies’ footsteps and don an Indigenous jersey on home soil.

Speaking at the launch of the Wallabies’ first Indigenous strip, to be worn in Brisbane in the third Bledisloe, Murphy said the chance to don a similar jersey at the Sydney Sevens would be a dream come true.

“Hopefully I can try and negotiate to hopefully have it running for the Sydney Sevens,” she said.

“It would be good to see us representing the Indigenous culture in gold and green at an international level, wearing that in front of the crowd and being able to represent our culture.

“Our culture's so beautiful to us and to have it on the jersey would be just amazing.”

Murphy is very proud of her culture and said she was ultra-conscious of her ability to try and encourage the next generation of Indigenous Australians to play rugby.

‘Me being the only Indigenous girl in the team, I like to use my position and profile to influence Indigenous kids and get them into our sport because our culture's been league growing up,” he said.

Indigenous Australians are over-represented in AFL and rugby league but Murphy, a former Jillaroo herself, said there was no reason the next generation couldn’t find themselves in rugby.

“There's a lot of talented kids out there and it's just about them getting that opportunity,” she said.

“My family are from a country town and when I go back there I see so much talent and potential for them to be where I am today.”

Murhpy said the impact of gestures like Indigenous jerseys and rounds could not be overestimated.

“It’s just a great opportunity and everyone's proud and younger kids are wanting to be like Kurtley Beale or wanting to be like Mahalia Murphy, they’re aspiring to be athletes,” she said.

“It’s just a good thing for us and rewarding for us to see and that's our job to give back to communities, this is a great way to give back.”

Murphy said programs like the Deadly7s, an Indigenous Sevens program, and Viva7s would help raise Indigenous participation in rugby.