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'Never felt more proud of our anthem' - reactions to 'special moment' in the history of Australian sport

By Online Editors

Trending on RugbyPass

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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.

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Coach Dave Rennie and captain Michael Hooper reflect on the Wallabies’ 16-all draw with the Pumas in Sydney.

“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.”

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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'Never felt more proud of our anthem' - reactions to 'special moment' in the history of Australian sport