I reckon Saturday night’s final Super Rugby minor premiership match between the Queensland Reds and ACT Brumbies at Suncorp Stadium will be one of the most important of the season.
Not because there is anything riding on the result – in fact, on that score it is probably the most meaningless to be played all year. After all, no matter which team wins, it won’t alter the final make-up of the competition table. The Brumbies will finish first, the Reds second and all going well, the same two teams will meet in the grand final to decide the championship in two weeks’ time.
Where the game does have major significance at a time of racial disharmony around the world, is the fact that it will be part of the competition’s ninth annual Indigenous Round. Both sides will be wearing specially designed Indigenous jerseys.
The Reds’ jersey, a striking design centred around an open hand to symbolise family connection, is the work of Shelly Booth, a graduate of the Queensland Rugby Union’s Future Indigenous Leaders Program which mentors Year 6-10 students in the Cherbourg and Woorabinda communities.
That Shelly’s design was chosen from a number of artworks submitted for consideration is even more significant because her mother designed one of the Reds’ previous Indigenous Round jerseys.
To add to the occasion, the Reds player of the match will be awarded the Frank Ivory medal, named in honour of the first Indigenous player to represent Queensland. And I reckon all that adds up to make this game anything but meaningless.
What do YOU reckon?