Dave Rennie said the Wallabies want to focus on honouring their indigenous people ahead of the test against the All Blacks.
The Wallabies won’t take the knee before meeting the All Blacks on October 31, with coach Dave Rennie saying they are “not looking to make a political statement’’.
Had the Wallabies elected to drop to one knee ahead of Bledisloe III in Sydney it would have been the first time a Black Lives Matter silent protest had been staged before a trans-Tasman test match.
Dane Haylett-Petty hasn’t ruled out taking a knee before the third Bledisloe test against the All Blacks in Sydney.
Wallabies fullback Dane Haylett-Petty raised the prospect when questioned at the launch of the Indigenous jersey for the match, as well as against Argentina later in the Tri-Nations, but Rennie said following a meeting between the squad’s leaders, and later the rest of the players, it was a unanimous decision not to take a knee.
“No, we won’t,’’ Rennie confirmed Friday.
* ‘That’s just stupid’: Gary Ella fires back at Nick Farr-Jones’ remarks about Indigenous Australians
* ‘We can do a lot better’: Rugby Australia boss backs Wallabies great’s call to boost Indigenous pathways
* All Blacks vs Australia: Huge blow for Wallabies as Matt To’omua sidelined for rest of season
“The key thing is this is about honouring our indigineous people and we want the focus to be on that.
“I guess everyone has got their opinions around the other situation but we want the focus to be reflecting our history and our past.’’
Rennie, who coached the Chiefs between 2012 and 2017 and won two Super Rugby titles, said he supported the fresh design of the Wallabies jersey and reflected on his time with the Hamilton-based club when he lived in New Zealand.
The Chiefs had a Maori design on their jersey which reflected the region and the team’s supporters.
He also said he would like to see the Wallaby jersey retained for future tests, to help the embrace “that part of our history’’.
“We have certainly talked about the indigenous jersey and as a group we would like to see that represented every week in our test jersey and not us a one-off.
“This is a first step in regard to embracing that part of our history.
“Our focus is around the First Nations people and the indigenous jersey. We are not looking to make a political statement.’’