Wallabies might consider 'taking a knee' - Haylett-Petty

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - England v Australia - Twickenham Stadium, London, Britain - November 24, 2018 Australia's Dane Haylett-Petty reacts after scoring a try which was subsequently disallowed Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs/File Photo

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia fullback Dane Haylett-Petty says the Wallabies players would consider joining other athletes around the world by "taking a knee" before a test match.

The protest against racial injustice was popularised by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016 and became a common sight at stadiums following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis in May.

Speaking at the launch of a new Wallabies shirt with a design that pays tribute to the 14 indigenous Australians who have played test rugby, Haylett-Petty said the squad had not yet discussed the matter.

"I think sport has a lot of opportunity to join conversations and have a say and a lot of sports have done that," he told reporters.

"I can't speak for everyone but it would be a great show of support. I think that would be a discussion to have as a group and we'd definitely consider it."

The Wallabies will wear the jersey, which was designed by indigenous Sydney artist Dennis Golding, in their Rugby Championship tests against New Zealand next week and Argentina in December.

"We've got a very diverse group," Haylett-Petty said of the Australia squad. "That's a strength of ours, being able to represent all Australians, especially first nation peoples by wearing this shirt."

There are no indigenous players in the current Wallabies squad after utility back Kurtley Beale departed for France in June.

"We need more Kurtley Beales and hopefully by wearing this jersey it will inspire more indigenous kids to aspire to wear the Wallabies shirt in future," said Haylett-Petty.

"So many talented athletes, we see them dominating AFL and NRL, I think it would be great to see more and more come through and wearing Wallabies jerseys."

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)

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