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Footy’s back… but the national anthem isn’t

Footy is back with a doubleheader when the Indigenous All Stars take on the Maori All Stars on the Gold Coast on Saturday night. 

It’s a match that made headlines after the NRL made the decision earlier this month to dump the national anthem.

The New Zealand anthem also won’t be played as a show of support from the Maori team.

NRL Head of Government and Community Relations Jaymes Boland-Rudder tells Ben Fordham that it was a tough but important move.

“It’s a really challenging decision for us, but it’s one that reflects our commitment to listening to our players, our senior Indigenous group and also the Indigenous council.

“If we can help stimulate a national debate, a national discussion and hopefully arrive at a song that truly represents everyone in our country and makes them feel proud to sing it, that would be a terrific outcome.”

Mr Boland-Rudder says the anthem is likely to stay for games of national significance, like the Grand Final, but this is open to the discussion.

“We’d consider those views and balance them also against other views that come up to us in any of our decision making and make a call.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Image:Getty/ Mike Owen
reece d’allessandro
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