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Artie's Legacy: Roosters Strong Indigenous Connection Inspiring Squad

When the Sydney Roosters take the field on Friday night for the NRL's Indigenous Round, they will be buoyed by their storied connection with the Indigenous community, and in particular, the legendary Arthur Beetson, whose face will adorn their jerseys.   

Designed by his niece, proud Kabi Kabi and Wiradjuri woman Bianca Beetson, the Roosters 2023 Indigenous jersey will pay tribute to late Immortals exploits as a person and a player. 

The vibrant design features unique Indigenous symbols that detail the inspiring leader's journey and impact on not only on the Red, White, and Blue, but on everyone he met.

Roosters prop Lindsay Collins is eager for the side to put out a positive performance to honour Beetson's legacy.  

"Artie is a big part of the Roosters, to get him back on the jersey is really special," he said.  

Collins is excited for the opportunity to represent the Club in such a significant round but is also aware that the team needs to improve.

Collins: 'To Have Artie On The Jersey Is Special'

"We've been in this position before, we've got our system, we've had our system for many years now," he said.  

"It's just about us getting a bit more connected, it's not a hard fix." 

In addition to the Indigenous jersey, Roosters players will run out in a unique pair of boots, painted with Indigenous artwork by students from Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College and Belmont High School, as part of the Boots for Brighter Futures Initiative.

Conducted by the Cultural Choice Association, founded by Connor Watson, the initiative strengthens the Club’s community ties with Indigenous youth, while supporting future First Nations generations in their endeavours.  

The significance of this initiative is clear to second-rower Nat Butcher, who believes it has strengthened Indigenous ties with the Club, and provided students with an opportunity to reflect on their culture and express emotions through art.  

"We have such a proud Indigenous heritage at the Club," he said.  

"We had a look at them (the boots), they look great, they've done such a great job and we're looking forward to representing those kids." 

Five-Eighth Luke Keary shared the sentiments of Butcher, emphasising the positive impact the initiative is having on the kids involved. 

"It means so much to them to be able to have that opportunity, to be able to put their culture on our boots," he said. 

It will be cool to run out there with the boots, and to have them involved with us over the last couple of months has been really special.

Luke Keary On the Boots for Brighter Futures Initiative

With the team working hard to prepare for their last game before the bye, Keary remains confident that exciting football and crucial wins are on the way, remaining relaxed about the Roosters ladder position.   

"Things will turn for you in games, teams go through different patches of form," the crafty half said.     

"We're not playing the footy that we want to play, but we are still sitting right there in amongst it."

The Sydney Roosters will take on the St George Illawarra Dragons in Indigenous Round at Netstrata Jubilee Oval on Friday Night in a must-win match-up before the bye.  Purchase your tickets now!

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.