Indigenous jersey up there with Roos: Fifita

Indigenous jersey up there with Roos: Fifita

Sharks prop Andrew Fifita says the specially-designed jersey he'll wear for Indigenous Round is just as significant as the green and gold jumper he reclaimed last week.  

For the first time in history, all 16 NRL clubs will wear their Indigenous jerseys in the same round, with the Sharks set to don a jersey designed by Sutherland Shire Elder Aunty Deanna Schreiber that incorporates the local totem – a whale – on the front.

Fifita's maternal grandfather was born in Wagga Wagga and the 27-year-old is keen to do the Wiradjuri people proud against local rivals the Dragons on Friday night. 

"This jersey means a lot to everyone, but especially the Indigenous people of this land so to have all 16 teams recognise their culture means a lot," Fifita told NRL.com. 

"For me, I'll be wearing my heart on my sleeve this weekend. It's not a rep jersey, but it's a first-grade jersey that holds special meaning.

"I'm a proud Indigenous man and I think you see that every year when I play for the All Stars. You'll see it again this week and I really can't wait to represent my people, my family and friends."

 


Fifita has made a significant contribution to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in Sydney with the prop forward helping raise awareness for mental health and facilitating workshops for at-risk youths. 

His work hasn't been limited to the city, with the Indigenous All Star making regular trips to the country to brighten the lives of those in need.

Just last year, Fifita took the premiership trophy to schools across the Riverina to let students have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal to rugby league's Holy Grail. 

"I always go back to Griffith and I do plenty of work with Indigenous people out there," he said. 

"I had a chance last year to take the trophy back home after the grand final. I did a big tour of the Riverina and had the chance to get out to Leeton and Griffith and take the trophy to all the schools in the area. 

"There are people in those remote areas who will never have the chance to get that close to a grand final trophy. It wasn't a replica – this was the actual grand final trophy – so I was thankful to the club that they gave me the chance to take the trophy back home and tour it around.

"There were a few teachers who didn't believe me when I told them it was the real one. They were just stoked to be near it. 

"At that stage it was still pretty raw with me that we'd won the grand final so I was still embracing the moment. To then take it back home and see the faces of all the kids made it all real."