Indigenous Blues players praise the women in their lives
There are nine Indigenous players across this year men's and women's NSW Origin teams and star winger Josh Addo-Carr says there's no better way to celebrate NAIDOC Week than wrapping up a series clean sweep on Wednesday night.
Addo-Carr, Latrell Mitchell, James Roberts and Tyrone Peachey acknowledged the strong women in their lives as NAIDOC Week embraces the theme, 'Because of her, we can'.
"What a coincidence we're playing game three during NAIDOC Week," Addo-Carr said.
"It's a great honour to represent our people on this stage and alongside a few of my other brothers as well.
"To represent my mum especially on Wednesday night will be a proud moment for me. She's been there since day one and if it wasn't for her I wouldn't be here - she's shaped me into the man I am today."
NSW bench utility Tyrone Peachey acknowledged the sacrifices that Indigenous women have made for their families.
"It's a special week for me and my Indigenous heritage," Peachey said.
"The Indigenous women in our culture have done a lot for us and for me in particular it's been my mum.
"We moved from Wellington NSW when I was pretty young and it was a decision that my mum made for me and my brother, to give us more opportunities – a decision she wouldn't of even thought twice about.
"She knew it was the best thing for us and I'm so grateful that she did that as I don't think I'd be in the NRL or in the Blues side if it wasn't for her and the sacrifices she made."
Broncos star Roberts supported the focus on the effect of women in the community and on rugby league players in particular.
"I think behind the scenes of every successful Indigenous player there's a strong black woman there that supported and believed in him," Roberts said.
"They play a massive role in our lives and from what I know in this team a lot of the boys have either a nan, mother, aunty or sister that they look up to for what they have given us."
Fellow Blues centre Mitchell is happy for the current crop of Origin stars to pave the way for the next generation of young Indigenous players that coming through.
"Having a few Indigenous boys and girls representing the Blues is a big achievement for us," Mitchell said.
"It's setting a trend now so hopefully it continues to grow in years to come.
"We are all trying to set an example for these young ones and hopefully they will follow in our footsteps."
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