Before their final test match of the year, the Wallabies made history by becoming the first Australian team to perform an Indigenous anthem at an international sporting event.
Newtown High School of the Performing Arts student, Olivia Fox, led an incredible rendition of Advance Australia Fair, which was sung in Eora language.
But the Wallabies themselves also turned heads, as the 23-players selected in the matchday squad paid their respects by singing it word-for-word as well. It has been revealed by captain Michael Hooper that the team had been practising the anthem all week.
— Wallabies (@wallabies) December 5, 2020
“We were practising during the week and our guys were – there was never a question – proud to have the opportunity to do it,” Hooper said.
“Wearing an Indigenous jersey and singing that in Aboriginal and then English, it was great and it was great to be a part of.”
By wearing their First Nations jersey as well, the historic rendition will go down in history as a landmark moment in Australian sporting history.
The anthem has largely been met with support, with people on Twitter calling for it to become a permanent part of Australian international sport, if not for the country as a whole.
Former Wallaby flyhalf Matt Giteau was one of many people to express their support for the combination of an Indigenous and English version of Advance Australia Fair, describing it as a “special moment in Australian sport.”
— Matt Giteau ?? (@giteau_rugby) December 5, 2020
The finest rendition of the Australian national anthem. That was brilliant. Never felt more proud of our anthem.
Well done Olivia Fox #TriNations2020 #AUSvARG
— Christy Doran (@ChristypDoran) December 5, 2020
— Paul Alo-Emile (@PaulAloEmile) December 5, 2020
Not going to lie, got a wee bit emotional listening to the Australian national anthem
— Abdullah Mahmood (@AbbyDno7) December 5, 2020
Loved the Australian anthem sung in Eora Nation language before the #AUSvARG test. And every Aussie player had made the effort the learn the words. Nice touch, Rugby Australia. More of this please!
— ? Reece Proudfoot (@ReeceProudfoot) December 5, 2020
A new Australian anthem, very good! And seeing the Aussies singing along with gusto, even better. #AUSvARG
— Alice Soper (@alicesoapbox) December 5, 2020
Bi-lingual anthem? I like it!! #AUSvARG
— Dave Jefferson (@cyclopath967) December 5, 2020
Loving hearing Advance Australia Fair sung in an Indigenous language and then in English before the @wallabies and @unionargentina Test. Much like the South African and New Zealand anthems. Would love this to be our official anthem. #AUSvARG #ARGvAUS #TriNations #TriNations2020
— Declan Keyes-Bevan (@deckeyesbevan) December 5, 2020
Loved hearing the Aussie anthem in an indigenous language…something to think about. #AUSvARG
— Bill Woods (@bmrwoods) December 5, 2020
— Nathan Williamson (@NathW1997) December 5, 2020
— Fraser Smith (@Fraser__Smith) December 5, 2020
So impressed by the anthem and the fact the players obviously put in the time to learn the 1st Nations verse #AUSvARG
— ?Wombat (@wombat_wood) December 5, 2020
— Mark (@Mark__d_h) December 5, 2020
Now that’s how the anthem should be sung every single time #AUSvARG
— Sammalorian ?? (@Borgus17) December 5, 2020
That was incredibly moving. To hear the Anthem sung in one of the languages of the First Australians that the Wallabies all took the effort to learn. #AUSvARG
— Erin Clarke (@ErinClarke_19) December 5, 2020
One thing to keep in mind after the Wallabies Eora rendition of the national anthem. There are over 250 different Indigenous languages in this country. This was not “the indigenous language” it was one of many. A fascinating collection of cultures, languages & history. #AUSvARG
— Jordan Patu. (@Jordan_Patu) December 5, 2020
As for the match that followed, the Wallabies were held to their third draw in six matches after going down to 14-men.
A red card to replacement second-rower Lukhan Salakaia-Loto in the 60th minute had the hosts well and truly on the back foot, trailing by four at the time. But a try to captain Michael Hooper with 13-minutes to play meant that it was anyone’s game, with the scores locked at 16-all.
Fullback Reece Hodge had a chance to win the match for his side in the dying stages, but in tough, slippery conditions at Paramatta’s Bankwest Stadium, he wasn’t able to convert the difficult kick.
The draw sees the Wallabies finish the Tri Nations with a win, a loss and two draws. While they finished equal on competition points with the Pumas, points difference saw the tournament’s hosts finish last.
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