Seven Vodafone Warriors with tribal affiliations are set to have an on-field involvement when the club plays a leading role in the annual NRL Indigenous Round at the Sydney Cricket Ground - home of the Gadigal people - tonight.
The Vodafone Warriors fly the flag as the sole New Zealand side in the competition as the NRL acknowledges the trans-Tasman neighbours' indigenous cultures.
They're lining up against Wests Tigers in the second match of the special round.
"Pass Back. Move Forward."
The NRL has themed the round “Pass Back. Move Forward.”
The theme and activities built into the round highlight the importance of understanding and appreciating indigenous history and culture in order to build a better future.
The focus of Round 12 will be encouraging fans to learn about the traditional custodians of the land where they live and, in support of this, all stadiums hosting Indigenous Round matches will include an acknowledgement to local First Nations people as part of their stadium name.
The SCG, for instance, will be acknowledged as the home of the Gadigal people.
All games will feature cultural exchanges while the 16 clubs will wear their own specially designed jerseys.
While the 15 clubs based in Australia will recognise their first nation people, the Vodafone Warriors will acknowledge the occasion by playing in a stunning Canterbury of New Zealand-designed jersey named Tāua Tahi. Tāua Tahi is the Māori way of saying “That’s Us”.
Indigenous populations share many cultural similarities in how they relate to their environments particularly land, water, people and language.
Tāua Tahi recognises and pays respect to the tangata whenua of New Zealand as well as Australia’s indigenous people and the spiritual connection that binds both of them together as people of the land.
The kowhaiwhai design in the background represents growth, life, positivity, reaching upward toward the light, new beginnings, nurturing, belonging and all things being connected.
The colour scheme of red, black and white (traditional colours of the Māori world) has been chosen to enhance this design.
The Vodafone Warriors’ initial extended 21-man squad included seven players who will honour their Māori heritage, one of whom – Jamayne Taunoa-Brown – is also of indigenous Australian extraction. An eighth player Josh Curran (omitted from the 21 last night) has indigenous Australian heritage and, with Taunoa-Brown, represented the Indigenous All-Stars against the Maori Kiwis All-Stars in Robina in February.
Adam Blair and Kodi Nikorima were in the victorious Maori side.
Tribal affiliations for players named in the original 21-man squad to take on the Tigers:
Adam Blair (Ngāpuhi)
Josh Curran (Dharug)
Tohu Harris (Ngāti Kahungunu)
Patrick Herbert (Ngāi Tūhoe)
Peta Hiku (Ngāriki Kaiputahi)
Kodi Nikorima (Ngāi Tahu Nga Rāuru)
Adam Pompey (Tainui)
Jamayne Taunoa-Brown (Ngāti Kahungunu; Kaurna, Narungga)
Tribal affiliations for other squad members: Gerard Beale (Ngāti Mutunga), Chanel Harris-Tavita (Ngāpuhi), Taane Milne (Ngāti Maniapoto, Tainui), Hayze Perham (Ngāti Tuwharetoa), Leivaha Pulu (Ngā Mahanga, Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa), Paul Turner (Tainui, Te Arawa)
Vodafone Warriors Supporter Pack
On sale now is the 2020 Vodafone Warriors CCC Indigenous Supporter Pack.
Priced from $99, the pack includes a 2020 Vodafone Warriors Indigenous Round jersey and Vodafone Warriors reversible bucket hat ($130 for adult sizing, saving of $90).
The items are also available separately.