One Percenters: Indigenous jersey honours family legacy

by Sam Phillips and Beth Newman

The Wallabies will don an Indigenous jersey for the first time in next weekend's Bledisloe, and it will be a significant gesture for more than just the 23.

Peter Ramalli, son of the first Indigenous Wallaby Cecil Ramalli, won't be able to see it in the flesh but hopes the jersey becomes a regular fixture in the Test rotation.

Cecil was on the verge of playing a Test overseas, before the group was called to the Second World War, with the scrumhalf working on the Burmese railways, a brutal occupation, before being in Nagasaki when the atomic bomb was dropped, an event that left an indelible mark on the history-making Wallaby.

Rugby was a constant part of his life when he returned to Australia, with Peter and his late brother Paul growing up with the game at Sydney's Northern Suburbs.

Cecil Ramalli in his later years. Photo: SuppliedA product of his time, Cecil was relatively quiet about his heritage for a long time, Peter said, simply wanting everyone to be treated equally, a mentality he instilled in his sons.

"As far as my father was concerend, never made any point of his background, as long as he was treated as an equal (that's all he asked)," he said.

"Just through his own actions,we learned form his actions really."

Peter said the newly-introduced Indigenous Test jersey would be a special one.

"I think it will be a great thing, appreciated by every rugby fan," Peter said.

"The All Blacks have always made a big point of recognising their Maori culture and I think this is a good way to recognise those pioneers."

The jersey has received plenty of public support and we'd be surprised if the Brisbane Bledisloe is the only time Australia sees the special jersey make an appearance.

Cross-code cameos in RLWC

Nita Maynard will play for New Zealand in the Rugby League World Cup. Photo: Getty ImagesTwo of Macquarie Uni's Uni7s stars will line up for New Zealand's Kiwi Ferns in next month's Rugby League World cup.

Nita Maynard and Raecene McGregor were named in the initial squad earlier this week, as two potential Kiwi debutants.

They're not the only players with rugby pedigree - former Waratah Reece Robinson will play for Lebanon, and the one-time Fiji 7s player and Olympic aspirant Jarryd Hayne will play for Fiji in the tournament.

Wessels looking forward to taking on future world beaters

New Rebels coach Dave Wessels will have plenty of his Force charges in Melbourne in 2018, but he's just as excited about some of the talent he is taking on.

Reece Hodge and Marika Koroibete have proven their quality in Wallabies colours in the Rugby Championship and there's one young Rebel Wessels sees huge potential in, tipping players including fullback Jack Maddocks as 2019 Rugby World Cup prospects.

"Young Jack Maddocks and those sorts of guys yesterday, those guys are really special," he said.

"I think if they work hard over the next 18 months, they've got a real chance to play in the World Cup and that's very exciting for those young guys.

"I think my job and the staff's job is to just create an environment there that enables them to realise their potential.

"That's the real challenge of it and there's a lot of work to do between where we are now and where we ultimately want to be but that's the job and that's what's exciting about it."

Gus gets another tier one gig

Angus Gardner has ticked off some milestones. Photo: Getty ImagesAustralia's top referee Angus Gardner has won selection in his eighth consecutive Tier one Test, blowing the whistle in next month's France vs New Zealand clash.

Gardner will be joined by Nic Berry in earning end-of-year honours, with the former Reds scrumhalf the referee for Japan vs the World XV on October 28. 

Wallabies reunion


Great to catch up with @adamcoopy after the game vs Kobe in Osaka today. Good win against a tough side. #topleague

A post shared by David Pocock (@davidpocock) on

It's been close to four years since David Pocock, Berrick Barnes and Adam Ashley-Cooper were on the same team, but the trio were reunited on the field in Japan.

Barnes and Pocock's Panasonic took on Ashley-Cooper's Kobe in Osaka, grabbing this snap after the game.