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Who are the Qantas Wallabies?

The Wallabies line up for the National Anthem during Rugby World Cup 2003

The Wallabies line up for the National Anthem during Rugby World Cup 2003

A brief history

When the first Australian team toured the United Kingdom and North America in 1908, they followed a recent tour to the UK by the New Zealand team, which the English press, dubbed the 'All Blacks' because of their all black costume. 

It was suggested by the press that the Australian team should also have a name and there is conjecture as to whether the press or some members of the team suggested the 'rabbits'.  The team rejected this as they did not want to represent an imported pest and instead they chose the native Wallaby.

Until the 1980s, only members of touring teams were called Wallabies and the teams who played tests at home were known as Internationals. The touring teams were named according to their chronological order from the 'First Wallabies' to the 'Eighth Wallabies' and the greatest reward for a representative player was to be selected to tour.

Today all Australian internationals playing at home or abroad are called Wallabies.

 

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