RLWC: Thurston words to inspire the Kangaroos
The Kangaroos will unveil a Johnathan Thurston-inspired call to arms in what he describes as "history in the making".
Australian players will perform on the field what Thurston said was an acknowledgment to the country just before the clash against England in Melbourne tomorrow night.
He has been working on the words for months while recovering from an injured shoulder.
It is expected the players will form a chevron around skipper Cameron Smith to recite parts of the acknowledgement. The rest of the squad will also say a few words. The Kangaroos have stopped short of calling it a war cry or dance but it does support the RISE (respect, inspire, selfless and excellence) values coach Mal Meninga has instilled in the team.
"I was back and forth with Mal and I wrote something down and sent it through to Mal," Thurston said.
"He loved it. It's stuff about what we spoke about at the Anzac Test.
"The chevron, the code of arms, the acknowledgement to country but also what we're trying to do with the RISE campaign. I've seen the boys do it. Immense pride watching the boys do it. It's never been done before.
"When we spoke about it at the Anzac Test the boys were talking about the history of Australia. The code of arms, the Anzacs. Being indigenous they wanted to have an acknowledgement of country there as well."
"It's super important being of indigenous descent. I'm very proud of my heritage and country. It means a lot.
"It will be history in the making and I think it's going to grow a lot of legs and in the future we will see a lot more with the playing group."
There have been calls for the Kangaroos to do a similar war dance to the Indigenous All Stars.
An Australian team did a war cry about 50 years ago.
"It wouldn't have any legs if it wasn't for the playing group," said Thurston, who was in Melbourne on Monday to practice the acknowledgment.
"Smithy has been behind it from day dot. When you have the senior playing group driving it with the likes of Cooper Cronk, Boyd Cordner, it makes it really special.
"Without those boys leading it, it would have no legs. They want to do it and are right behind it."