NEWS Riki taking strides forward on his path to cultural discovery

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Jordan Riki literally wears his Māori heritage on his sleeve for all to see, but has only now become more confident in exploring his Indigenous Australian lineage from his biological father.

For a long time, the Broncos enforcer only knew that his father was an Indigenous Australian, conceding he had little understanding of that side of himself and his extended family before taking steps to learn more about his cultural past.

And had he not stepped forward on to the NRL stage, Riki admits he might never have been connected to his wider family at all.

"I think I must have played a handful of NRL games and his family always knew about me, but just didn't know how to find me," Riki told NRL.com.

"They saw my games so they reached out to myself and gave me a few names of my biological father's grandparents and their great-grandparents as well.

"I always knew that side of me was there. My mum had always told me from a young age that my biological father was an Indigenous man, but, sadly he just wasn't around when I was younger, so it was hard for us to actually reconnect and find out anything in that aspect.

“It was kind of it kind of blessing really playing NRL and that's how they found out about me. I took those names to the community team and we went from there – I'm actually on a pretty special journey at the moment.

"I'm extremely keen to get down to Adelaide where my found tribe is, the Noongar People. I'm keen to get down there and hopefully reach out to a few people.

While unique, Riki's journey is one shared by many people who come to know of their culture later in life, with a meet-up with Nicho Hynes after their All Stars match in Rotorua last year helped him take the next steps on his path to discovery.

Riki was making his third appearance for the Māori side, but found himself connecting with the Sharks playmaker over their Indigenous journeys.

“Me and Nicho actually were sitting down together at some point and he heard that I was Indigenous and that I wanted to find out about my journey," Riki said.

"He started explaining he’s in the same boat as me, he doesn't know much, but he's definitely keen to find out some more. We ended up catching up after the game to celebrate both cultures and what a special week it is.

“We just shared that really special connection and it was just really cool.”

With his Māori heritage on his skin, Riki will proudly wear the Broncos' Indigenous jersey on his chest this week, with teammates Kotoni Staggs, Selwyn Cobbo, Ezra Mam, Reece Walsh and Tristan Sailor all directly contributing to the design.

Riki – whose iwi is Tainui – said a shared pride in their people between the Indigenous Australian and Māori cultures was an important connection in his story.

“I'm such a proud Māori man and I know so much on my mum's side, so for me to go on this special journey on my father's side is hugely important to me,” he said.

“There's such rich, deep culture and it's just an amazing feeling to know and understand and start to learn the Indigenous side as well.

“The people are just so proud of who we are and what we represent. I love that everyone wears their heart on their sleeve and they're just so proud to be Māori or Indigenous.

“I'm extremely proud Māori man, but I'm definitely heading towards being a proud Indigenous man too.”

NRL.com
 
Swordfish

Swordfish

QCup Player
Aug 24, 2022
868
1,664
I’m a fan of this guy. He’s the first one to commit to us on a longer term during the club’s darkest days. Humble & loyal are his traits which are very much likeable.

Footy wise, he’s getting good at defence wise but I would love to see him barge his way &/ run smart lines like Gillo did.
 
Big Del

Big Del

NRL Captain
Apr 22, 2017
4,550
5,357
Riki has turned himself into one of the best second rowers this years. Just knuckles down and goes on about his business week in and week out. Good to see him happy and embracing his other side of his culture.

Very good defender .
Needs to expand his attack . To be one of the best .
A likeable kid , and I bet his team mates love playing with him .
 
Waynesaurus

Waynesaurus

NRL Captain
Jun 3, 2013
3,760
6,189
I will always have a soft spot for Riki, he stood by the club during the dark times and announced he wanted to be here and to help to rebuild it.

Unlike turnCoates, who I will never forgive for abandoning us in our time of need when things got hard.......admittedly the Storm cocksmokers played a big part and got into dopey's head whilst he was away at state of origin.
 
heartly87

heartly87

NRL Player
May 10, 2014
1,839
4,824
I think we all forget that Rikki is doing those kick chases nearly every set a full sprint, that is at least a 20m sprint at the end of every set. No wonder he doesn't seem to explode in attack. One thing he can never be accused of is being lazy, he still takes his runs. I think he a huge asset to the team. Love the story of his also.
 
Jedhead

Jedhead

State of Origin Rep
Contributor
Jan 8, 2018
6,264
12,743
Very good defender .
Needs to expand his attack . To be one of the best .
A likeable kid , and I bet his team mates love playing with him .
I agree, if he could just run a better line like Peeks he’d be a real weapon. Some of his and Mams’ kick chase have been brilliant to watch. It’s one aspect we seem to have mastered.
 
Allo

Allo

International Rep
Forum Staff
Sep 28, 2012
12,234
10,553
I agree, if he could just run a better line like Peeks he’d be a real weapon. Some of his and Mams’ kick chase have been brilliant to watch. It’s one aspect we seem to have mastered.

I'd like him to contest the kicks on more occasions - half the time he has to wait for the defender to hit the ground, which means he's there early enough to try and compete for the catch
 
J

Johnny92

NRL Player
Jul 3, 2021
1,904
5,575
I think we all forget that Rikki is doing those kick chases nearly every set a full sprint, that is at least a 20m sprint at the end of every set. No wonder he doesn't seem to explode in attack. One thing he can never be accused of is being lazy, he still takes his runs. I think he a huge asset to the team. Love the story of his also.
And we've got some good results off the kick chase as well.
It cuts down the time the opposition has to run, we get a mistake from them sometimes, we've scored tries off the kick chase and the other boys have jumped on board with it too.
It's so good that I've noticed other teams trying to do it as well this year.
You can attack with your defence and Riki has brang that to this team.
IMO the kick chase and the results we get from it far out weighs him running a good line/hitting a hole a couple times a game.
 

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