• Lloyd McDermott will be honoured with the Wallabies to sing in Yugambeh. (NITV)Source: NITV
The pioneering Rugby man and barrister, who passed away in 2019, is still being remembered.
Jodan Perry, Rachael Knowles

4 Jul 2022 - 11:02 AM  UPDATED 4 Jul 2022 - 11:02 AM

Trailblazing Wallaby Lloyd McDermott will be honoured at Saturday night's test match against England with the national anthem to be sung in Yugambeh.

The team will don the latest iteration of its First Nations jersey while combining with the Yugambeh Youth Choir to sing in language.

Mr McDermott passed away in 2019 at the age of 79 after forging a groundbreaking path through both rugby and law.

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His daughter Philipa McDermott, who will be in Brisbane to watch the rendition, said she was emotional when Rugby Australia contacted the family three months ago about their plans.

"I cried," she told NITV News.

"Our mob is just so thrilled. Our family is just so honoured to have that."

A proud Mununjali and Wakka Wakka man Uncle Lloyd wore number 470 and left a resounding legacy on the sport after withdrawing from the team during South Africa’s apartheid era instead of touring as an ‘honorary white’ in the South African tour.

In 1962 he played against the New Zealand All Blacks, becoming the first Wallaby to identify as a First Nations man.

He created the Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team (LMRDT) in a bid to bring Indigenous people into the sport and later became the nation’s first Indigenous barrister.

"Dad would never have thought that he would leave a legacy like that," said Philipa.

"It's just so great that he is not forgotten and people are understanding his impact."

This year's Indigenous jersey has been designed by Kamilaroi and Gamilaraay artist Dennis Golding. Mr Golding designed the first First Nations jersey which the side wore in 2017.

It's also the second time in rugby union history the national anthem will be sung in language. In 2020, Wiradjuri woman Olivia Fox sang in Eora language at Parramatta stadium.

“As a team, we’re extremely proud to be able to celebrate NAIDOC week by wearing our First Nations jersey and singing in Uncle’s language,” said Wallabies coach Dave Rennie.

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