ANZAC Jersey has special meaning

Published 2:06pm 18 April 2023

ANZAC Jersey has special meaning
Words by Kylie Knight

Jarrod Wallace will proudly wear the Dolphins’ inaugural ANZAC Round jersey against the Titans on Sunday with his family’s links to the ANZAC legend front of mind.

He discovered about 10 years ago, distant relative George Fergus Greig was one of the original ANZACs who landed at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915.

Sergeant-Major Greig was part of the Allies’ first wave but only survived until May 15 when he was killed in battle.

Wallace’s family has Sargeant-Major Greig’s war diary and the Dolphins’ prop’s wartime links also extend to his grandparents, Norm and Josie, who served in WWII.

“My granddad now, to this day, still has his medals and notebooks of the journey over on the boat. I think a remember reading he was the second boat onto the sand,” Wallace explains.

|“To know my family has heritage and they personally fought for us to have this beautiful land now and the life that we live ... it’s pretty special.|

“To be able to say my family has been a part of … like I just said … live the life that we do … my kids run around the way they do and to have this beautiful country the way we have it’s pretty special.”

The jersey was designed in consultation with RSL Queensland, Redcliffe Library’s historian and Dolphins’ players. It features the sun rising over the region’s iconic Anzac Avenue lined with the mango trees planted in memory of fallen local soldiers from WWI. There is a large mango tree on the back.

Opened in 1925, Anzac Avenue is the longest WWI memorial avenue in Queensland stretching 17.8km from Petrie to Redcliffe.

The now heritage-listed road was built with the assistance of a public subscription and was the first bitumen road to Redcliffe constructed.

The Dolphins will honour the ANZAC tradition before Sunday’s game in several ways. Veterans will form the guard of honour for players to run through, an RSL representative will recite The Ode before kick-off and a veteran will perform the official match coin toss.

ANZAC Jersey has special meaning

While journalists and commentators like to align sport with battle, Wallace says they are very different.

“At the end of the day, what they have done and what they still do to this day for us is something I could never wrap my head around … the sacrifices they’ve made for us and they still make for us,” he says.

He’s proud to play during this round and represent past and present Diggers.

“When you take the field you get goosebumps, you hear The Last Post, the national anthems and everyone’s cheering,” he says.

“And when you’re out there and you’re tired it’s not as hard as you think it is. You think about what they’ve been through. We get to do everything we do day to day because of them.”

He is also looking forward to going up against his old club in an NRL game but expects some stick from his former teammates in the coming days.

“I’m excited to go out against them and to try and rough-up my old team,” he says.

The Dolphins will be looking to improve on their second-half performance against Souths last Thursday night in which they squandered a half-time lead to lose 36-14.

Today’s training session was a long one, after a few days off, but Wallace says the focus was on the aspects of their performance that worked well in the first 40 minutes against the Rabbitohs.

The Dolphins face the Titans at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday. Kick-off is at 2pm.

Check out the training photo gallery (click through)

Photos by Kylie Knight

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