Indigenous Warriors vs. Indigenous Australian Rugby Team Preview

Indigenous Warriors – Indigenous Australian Rugby Team

On Wednesday, September 26 theIndigenous Australian Rugby Team will play all Native-American Representative rugby team, the Indigenous Warriors. The match will be at the University of Denver’s Diane Wendt Sports Field with the kickoff at 6 pm MT.

Entry is free and pre-game ceremonies begin at 5:50 pm. The match is sponsored by DU Rugby, DU Native American Student Alliance, Tocabe, and USA Rugby.

The teams previously met in 2015 in Gallop, New Mexico when the IART was on tour. The tour and this match brings different cultures together in a cultural exchange, creates an awareness of issues that Indigenous and Native-American issues face, and develops leaders.

Tamaris Montano, Coach for the all Native-American team, indicated that “This match has evolved to showcase Indigenous players. There are very few Native American role models, and this match brings together men of different cultures to share in the experience of a lifetime.”

Montano continues, “It also helps the Indigenous players understand that we share the same obstacles in our lives. Some of the problems that our communities face are alcohol, drug abuse, domestic violence, achieving higher education, just to name a few.”

The Indigenous Australian Rugby Team Tour

The Indigenous Australian Rugby Team is an under-25 squad comprised of players of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders descent. Selection to the invitational team was based on the contributions made as a player, as well as to their communities.

The tour is a cultural exchange for the team and not only is the team playing six matches during a two week period, but it has also been traveling extensively and has been involved in community events.

The Indigenous Australian Invitational Rugby Team began their six-match rugby tour of the U.S. and Canada with a 72-19 win against Army West Point B at the Anderson Rugby Complex on the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. on September 18. The team then traveled to Boston and then to Portland, Maine where they beat the Portland Rugby Football Club 69-19 at Deering Memorial Stadium on September 19.

The third match was against the Rugby Quebec Selects on Friday, September 21 at Percival-Molson Stadium at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. Playing three matches within 7 days proved to be a challenge as the team lost 26-12. A cultural highlight was attending the 17th annual Powwow.

On Sunday, September 23, the team faced the Ontario Blues Sr. Development XV losing 50-21 at the Oshawa Vikings Rugby Club. The following day the team visited Niagara Falls and met with the Iroquois Roots Rugby club in a cultural exchange with the Mohawk nation.

Then it was on to Toronto before flying to Denver for their September 26th match against the U.S. Native American representative team, the Indigenous Warriors.

The IART concludes their match portion of the tour on September 28 against California State University – Long Beach and leaves the following day for home from Los Angeles.

Indigenous Warriors & IART Squads

Indigenous Warriors: 1 Eric Billy 2 Joel Luevan 3 Jacob Billy 4 Michael Charles 5 Andrew Singer 6 Atsee Bahe Montano 7 Isaac Stabler 8 Avery Lonewolf 9 Mateo Cardiel 10 Tom Rydell 11 George Munoz Jr 12 Cristian Sarmento 13 Maz Gordon 14 Brandon Barber 15 Pablo Gariby + Head Coach Timaris Montano (Colin Coleman & Samuel Gray-Fisher were previosly announced in the match preview, but could not attend)

IART Squad vs. Indigenous Warriors: 1 Aaron Brown 2 Bryce Adamson 3 Connor Lynch 4 Mitchell Hudson 5 Braeden Smith (VC)  6  Josef Wilson 7 Jerone Wills 8 Peter Fitzsimmons (C) 9 Ethan Wikaira 10 David Green 11 Tirawa Gristwood 12 Anthony Fuller 13 Isaiah Huet 14 Josh Smith 15 Ruben House 16 Kai Lowah17 Liam Bilston 18 Elliot Thompson 19 Daniel Rosendale 20 Leonard Snowball 21 Aaron Williams 22 Deon Evans-Ao 23 Matt Saul

IART has made nine changes to their starters from the match against the Ontario Blues Sr. Development side. Connor Lynch gets the start at tighthead prop with Aaron Brown switching to loosehead. Mitchell Hudson is a lock, Josef Wilson and Jerome Wills the flankers and Peter Fitzsimmons at No. 8 and captaining the side. Ethan Wikaira returns to scrumhalf after sitting out the Ontario match due to a head knock sustained against Quebec. Tirawa Gristwood returns at wing, Anthony Fuller is at inside center and Reuben House is at fullback.

Three touring players were not selected for the match  instead of the full roster of 26 players. The Indigenous Warriors only have 17 players for the match. Corbin Walters, Aiden Waikaira and Shayman Shepperd will be IART supporters for the match.

IART Tour match selections

IART vs. Army West Point: 1 Kai Lowah (c) 2 Jerome Wills 3 Liam Bilston 4 Braeden Smith 5 Elliot Thompson 6 Josef Wilson 7 Peter Fitzsimmons (VC) 8 Leonard Snowball 9 Ethan Wikaria-Noosa 10 Aaron Williams 11 Matt Saul 12 Anthony Fuller 13 Isaiah Huet-Emerald 14 Corbin Walters 15 Deon Evans-Ao 16 Connor Lynch 17 Aaron Brown 18 Mitchell Hudson 19 Daniel Rosendale 20 Bryce Adams 21 Sayman Shepperd 22 David Green 23 Ruben House 24 Aiden Wikaria 25 Josh Smith 26 Tiriwa Gristwood

IART vs. Portland: 1 Connor Lynch 2 Bryce Adamson 3 Aaron Brown 4 Mitchell Hudson 5 Daniel Rosendale 6 Josef Wilson 7 Corbin Walters 8 Liam Bilston 9 Tiriwa Gristwood 10 David Green 11 Josh Smith 12 Aiden Wikaira 13 Deon Evans-Ao 14 Shayman Shepperd 15 Ruben House 16 Jerome Wills 17 Kai Lowah 18 Elliot Thompson 19 Braeden Smith 20 Peter Fitzsimmons 21 Leonard Snowball 22 Anthony Fuller 23 Aaron Williams 24 Ethan Wikaria-Noosa 25 Isaiah Huet-Emerald 26 Matt Saul

IART vs. Rugby Quebec Selects: 1 Kai Lowah (c) 2 Jerome Wills 3 Liam Bilston 4 Elliot Thompson 5 Daniel Rosendale 6 Josef Wilson 7 Peter Fitzsimmons (VC) 8 Leonard Snowball 9 Ethan Wikaria-Noosa 10 Aaron Williams 11 Corbin Walters 12 Isaiah Huet 13 Deon Evans-Ao14 Josh Smith 15 Ruben House 16 Bryce Anderson 17 Aaron Brown 18 Connor Lynch 19 Mitchell Hudson 20 Braeden Smith 21 Tiriwa Gristwood 22 David Green 23 Matt Saul 24 Aiden Wikaria 25 Sayman Shepperd 26 Anthony Fuller

IART Squad vs. Ontario Blues Sr. Development XV: 1 Kai Lowah 2 Bryce Adamson 3 Aaron Brown 4 Elliot Thompson 5 Braeden Smith 6 Daniel Rosendale (C) 7 Corbin Walters (VC) 8 Leonard Snowball 9 Aaron Williams 10 David Green 11 Shayman Shepperd 12 Aiden Wikaira 13 Isaiah Huet 14 Josh Smith 15 Matt Saul 16 Jerone Wills 17 Liam Bilston 18 Connor Lynch 19 Mitchell Hudson 20 Peter Fitzsimmons 21 Josef Wilson 22 Tirawa Gristwood 23 Ruben House 24 Deon Evans-Ao 25 Anthony Fuller + Ethan Wikaira (HIA)

IART vs. Indigenous Warriors: 1 Aaron Brown 2 Bryce Adamson 3 Connor Lynch 4 Mitchell Hudson 5 Braeden Smith (VC)  6  Josef Wilson 7 Jerone Wills 8 Peter Fitzsimmons (C) 9 Ethan Wikaira 10 David Green 11 Tirawa Gristwood 12 Anthony Fuller 13 Isaiah Huet 14 Josh Smith 15 Ruben House 16 Kai Lowah17 Liam Bilston 18 Elliot Thompson 19 Daniel Rosendale 20 Leonard Snowball 21 Aaron Williams 22 Deon Evans-Ao 23 Matt Saul

IART Tour Matches, Clinic, and Preview Article

Full Rosters, (Tribe), Club, (Location)

Indigenous Warriors Roster, Tribe, Club

  1. Eric Billy, Navajo, Albuquerque Aardvarks
  2. Joel Luevan, Choctaw, Albuquerque Aardvarks
  3. Jacob Billy, Navajo, Albuquerque Aardvarks
  4. Michael Charles, Dine’, Columbus Castaways
  5. Andrew Singer, Navajo
  6. Atsee Bahe Montano, Hualapai, New Mexico Brujos
  7. Isaac Stabler, Omaha, Kansas City RFC
  8. Avery Lonewolf, Omaha, Tri-State Punishers
  9. Mateo Cardiel, Mexican, Albuquerque Aardvarks
  10. Tom Rydell, Navajo, Denver Barbarians
  11. George Munoz Jr., Dine’, Albuquerque Aardvarks
  12. Cristian Sarmento, Blackfeet, Littleton Eagles
  13. Max Gordon, Occneechi Band of the Saponi, Raleigh Rugby Vipers
  14. Brandon Barber, Navajo, Fort Lewis
  15. Pablo Gariby, Mexican, New Mexico Brujos
  16. Head Coach, Timaris Montano, Gallup, New Mexico
  17. Colin Coleman, Cree, Fort Lewis (Could not attend)
  18. Samuel Gray-Fisher, Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, Oneida FC (Could not attend)

IART Roster, Club, & Location
1. Kai Lowah (Vice Captain) JCU Mariners – Cairns
2. Jerone Wills (Leadership Group) Warringah Rats – Darwin
3. Aaron Brown – Devonport Bulls – Davenport
4. Liam Bilston- Easts Rugby – Darwin
5. Elliott Thompson (Vice Captain) GPS Brisbane – Barcaldine
6. Daniel Rosendale (Leadership Group)  JCU Mariners – Cairns
7. Braeden Smith (Captain) Queanbeyan Whites – Queanbeyan
8. Peter Fitzsimmons – Bathurst Bulldogs- Bathurst
9. Tirawa Gristwood – Bowral Blacks- Moss Vale
10. Aaron Williams – Orange City – Bathurst
11. Corbin Walters (Leadership Group) Ourimbah Rugby Club- Ourimbah
12. Anthony Fuller – Warren Pumas
13. Isaiah Huet – Emerald Rams – Emerald
14. Ethan Wikaira- Noosa Dolphins – Noosa
15. Deon Evans-Ao – Southern Districts – Sydney
16. Connor Lynch – Griffith Blacks – Griffith
17. Bryce Adamson – Hamilton Hawks – Newcastle
18. Mitchell Hudson – Cloncurry Question Marks – Cloncurry
19. Josef Wilson – Uni Norths – Leeton
20. Leonard Snowball- Innisfail Vikings- Babinda
21. Shayman Shepherd – Cloncurry Question Marks – Cloncurry
22. Matt Saul – Queanbeyan Whites – Dubbo
23. Aidan Wikaira – Brisbane Brothers – Noosa
24. David Green – Bond University – Gold Coast
25. Reuben House – Queanbeyan Whites -Canberra
26. Joshua Smith – Narara

Support Staff
Manager: Darrell Morris – Townsville
Head Coach: John Browne – Townsville
Forwards Coach: Bernard Green – Townsville
Backs Coach and Technical Adviser: David Conyers – Bathurst
Assistant Manager: Kelli Smith – Queanbeyan
Head Trainer / Player Welfare: Wade Smith – Queanbeyan
Trainer: Faith Donahue – Queanbeyan
Physiotherapist: James Pearce – Canberra
Player Mentor: Peter Nugent – Bathurst
Team Doctor: Dr. Ross Wilson – Bathurst
Team Patron: Sean Armistead – Melbourne

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant