I wanted to take the opportunity to address you, the members of the rugby family, to inform you of the activities undertaken by some individuals unaffiliated with our Classic Wallabies, and to explain the stance we have and will be taking on this matter.
Recently an unaffiliated individual represented himself as the team manager of a Classic Wallabies squad participating in a Classics Rugby tournament in Noumea. A number of our members received unsolicited messages from this person appealing to them to participate in this tournament and continue to be contacted to participate in future ‘rugby’ events under the guise of Classic Wallabies. Both the individual and the tournament organisers were directly informed that although they were welcome to enter a tournament, they were not to use the name or branding conventions of the Classic Wallabies and must cease and desist from continuing to misrepresent themselves as the Classic Wallabies. Disappointingly our requests continue to be ignored.
To be clear, the Classic Wallabies have no issue with fans, past players and any other interested parties inviting individual Classic Wallabies to play or attend events. We do, however, ask that if you wish to use the Classic Wallabies brand or the third party is intending to use the Classic Wallabies brand, that you or they consult with myself as the General Manager of Classic Wallabies Inc. To not do so is to risk infringing the intellectual property of not only the Classic Wallabies, but also that of Rugby Australia.
We take this very seriously. Furthermore, so does Rugby Australia.
This is significant because it is Rugby Australia who have registered the rights to use the term “Wallabies” in the context of Rugby to the exclusion of all other parties. This includes things which incorporate the term “Wallaby” or “Wallabies” in them (such as the Classic Wallabies logo). It is only with Rugby Australia’s express written consent that any party is legally permitted to use this phrasing, regardless of how they present it (for example, in a logo).
The Classic Wallabies and management team have taken the correct steps with Rugby Australia to secure the rights of use to this title. No other person or organisation has their permission to do so.
We are and shall remain an independent entity from Rugby Australia or any other stakeholder group within the game. This independence ensures that we are able to represent each and every Classic Wallaby in a fair and impartial way, and so that we may forge our own path as an organisation.
What’s more, we have also built a brand and an entity that exists to recognise, celebrate and support each and every Classic Wallaby. Over the past 18 months the Classic Wallabies organisation has been driving this brand forward so that we are active proponents in supporting our alumni, engaging rugby communities and growing support and positivity for the game. We have secured commercial partners, hosted events and are actively running projects under this brand for the betterment of the game and wellbeing of our membership.
It is for this reason that measures are now being taken to ensure that no other infringements will take place. It is our intention to inform those individuals in the market of the risk they are running by continuing to infringe Classic Wallabies and Rugby Australia IP, and should they continue to ignore it, take legal action.
If you have any questions about official or unofficial Classic Wallabies activity, I am always happy to talk through it. I also encourage each and every one of you to remain engaged with grassroots rugby and community activities. I encourage any Classic Wallaby or member of the rugby family who would like to know more about this matter, as well as our plans and projects going forward to get in touch with me.
Whatever level of rugby you have played or participated in, no matter what era or what the on-field results were, you are all part of the Golden Thread that connects us all. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure we protect this Golden Thread for future generations.