Aussies Abroad: Former NRL Youngster Makes His NFL Debut, Surfing World Champ Joins BLM Movement
The coronavirus pandemic is continuing to plague live sports events across the globe, but that hasn't stopped our Aussies from making waves overseas.
While fans are being forced to watch from the comfort of their living rooms, a host of international sports are still well underway.
The revamped NFL season has just launched, motorsport stars are hitting the track and some of the best leagues in world football are finally kicking off.
And some of the biggest names in Australian sport are in the thick of the action.
Here's all the latest on our Aussies Abroad!
Jordan Mailata is off and running
About time! Jordan Mailata has finally made his NFL debut for the Philadelphia Eagles.
The 6-foot-8-inch former South Sydney Rabbitohs rookie was thrown into the game against the newly-named Washington Football Team as the Eagles slumped to 27-17 opening-game defeat.
Originally drafted as a left tackle in the seventh round in 2018, Mailata was parachuted into the action following an injury to right tackle Jack Driscoll.
And by all accounts, the 23-year-old did well - despite his team's lacklustre performance.
Having featured in pre-season games prior, this was the first time Philadelphia utilised their 346-pound (156kg) wrecking ball.
The 'Barty party' won't be stopping in France
Ash Barty won't be defending her French Open title this year.
The Aussie world number one has confirmed she won't be competing in the prestigious tournament in 2020, citing COVID-19 restrictions, a lack of preparation and border closures as her reasons.
24-year-old Barty clinched her maiden grand slam title at Roland Garros last year, but will be watching this year's competition from her home in Australia.
She released a statement via social media explaining her decision.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still causing mayhem for travelling athletes, many more big-name players are expected to follow Barty's lead in withdrawing from major tournaments.
View this post on InstagramIt has been a difficult decision to make but unfortunately I will not be competing in Europe this year. Last year's French Open was the most special tournament of my career so this is not a decision I have made lightly. There are two reasons for my decision. The first is the health risks that still exist with Covid. The second is my preparation, which has not been ideal without my coach being able to train with me due to the state border closures in Australia. I wish the players and the French Federation all the best for a successful tournament. I now look forward to a long preseason and the summer in Australia. It has been a challenging year for everyone and although I am disappointed on a tennis front, the health and well-being of my family and my team will always be my priority. Thank you to my fans for your continued support, I can't wait to play for you again.
A post shared by Ash Barty (@ashbarty) on
Matildas stars loving life in England
The recently-crowned PFA Women's Player of the Season Sam Kerr scored for the second week in a row to help Chelsea thrash Bristol City 9-0 in the English FA Women's Super League.
The Matildas captain is well and truly back to her best in front of goal as she found the back of the net in the 86th minute with a well-taken finish past the helpless keeper.
And Kerr wasn't the only Matilda to bag a goal over the weekend.
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This Rookie's Reaction To Being Told He's Making His NRL Debut Is About As Aussie As It Gets
The moment @CaitlinFoord scored her first @BarclaysFAWSL goal :raised_hands: pic.twitter.com/F2SagPhbxj
- Westfield Matildas (@TheMatildas) September 12, 2020
Kerr's Matildas strike partner Caitlin Foord scored past Australian shot stopper Mackenzie Arnold as Arsenal demolished West Ham 9-1.
The Gunners are now top of the WSL table under the guidance of Australian head coach Joe Montemurro.
Elsewhere, Matildas winger Hayley Raso was instrumental in helping Everton upset competition favourites Tottenham 1-0.
This one is for the Aussies! :flag_au: @CaitlinFoord :pray: @MaccaArnold1 pic.twitter.com/e4jbsxNXZY
- Barclays FA Women's Super League (@BarclaysFAWSL) September 13, 2020
Oscar Piastri destined for F1?
Daniel Ricciardo may be killing it in the F1, but there's another Australian motorsport star on the rise.
Under the guidance of former Australian F1 driver Mark Webber, 19-year-old Oscar Piastri clinched the 2020 Formula 3 Championship over the weekend at the season finale at Mugello.
The title went down to the wire with Piastri level on 160 points with his Renault teammate and main rival Logan Sargeant heading in to the event.
But Sargeant crashed out early in the race, leaving the Melbourne-born teenager the chance to clinch gold in Tuscany - and he made no mistake.
He ended up finishing in seventh place which was enough to see him crowned F3 champion.
We did it. F3 champion! What a mental year, absolutely crazy. I hope everyone enjoyed that, because I think I need a heart transplant :joy:
- Oscar Piastri (@OscarPiastri) September 13, 2020
Australia's Oscar Piastri is the new #F3 champion! :flag_au:
After a nailbiting title race, the 19-year-old won the championship by just 3 points from Theo Pourchaire, with Logan Sargeant another point back #TuscanGP :flag_it: @FIAFormula3 pic.twitter.com/DMNxbTxC0G
- Formula 1 (@F1) September 13, 2020
Aussie surfer Tyler Wright takes a knee for BLM
Granted, Tyler Wright isn't currently plying her trade overseas.
But her powerful message was certainly heard on an international stage.
The Aussie surfer became the latest athlete to show her support for the Black Lives Matter movement during the Tweed Coast Pro in northern New South Wales.
Fans across the world were quick to heap praise on Wright after she was pictured taking a symbolic knee prior to the event in a stand against racism.
The bottom of the Aussie's surf board was also inscribed with the words: "Black Lives Matter".
The 2016 and 2017 world champion joins a number of other big-name sports stars in throwing her support behind the movement.
"Before I'm an athlete, I'm a human being. So today, before my heat at the Tweed Coast Pro, I'll be taking a knee in solidarity with Black Lives Matter" - @tylerGwright pic.twitter.com/4WET9TDSbY
- World Surf League (@wsl) September 13, 2020
Aaron Mooy secures move to China
Socceroos midfielder Aaron Mooy is no longer a Premier League player.
The 30-year-old has joined Shanghai SIPG from relegation escapees Brighton after the Chinese Super League big-spenders activated his £4million (AU$7m) release clause.
Many were confused by Mooy's sudden departure from one of the best leagues on the planet in arguably the prime of his career, but the Aussie insists he want to undertake new challenges in life.
"I'm very excited about the new challenge in my life," he said.
"Some friends of mine have played in Chinese leagues before, and they have said great things about China. I can't wait to train with the team and help the club reach its goal for the season.
"The Chinese league is trying to grow, much like the Australian league. It's a big club that I'm joining. The team wants to play attractive football. As a midfielder, I'd like to get involved in passing, tackling, as much as possible... My personal goal is to win titles with the team."
Featured Image Credit: PA