CLEAR­ING A PATH FOR OUR GIRLS

Ma­roons cap­tain sheds light on her past to ig­nite fe­male league tal­ent of the bush

The Western Star - - Front Page - James Liveris [email protected]­ern­starnews.com

QUEENS­LAND Ma­roons leg­end Ali Brig­gin­shaw is ex­cited about the fu­ture of women’s rugby league af­ter watch­ing more than 100 girls take to the field in Roma this week.

RUGBY LEAGUE: As the girls of the south­west took to the footy field, Bris­bane Bron­cos half­back Ali Brig­gin­shaw watched on in awe and re­flected on how far women's rugby league has come in re­cent years.

Brig­gin­shaw was in Roma on Tues­day as more than 100 fe­male league play­ers bat­tled it out in hopes to raise the Ali Brig­gin­shaw Shield.

The ac­com­plished

Bron­cos half­back has cap­tained the Har­vey Nor­man Queens­land Ma­roons and the Bris­bane Bron­cos, she also won woman of the match at the 2017 Women’s Rugby League World Cup Fi­nal rep­re­sent­ing the Jil­la­roos.

But suc­cess didn’t come easy. Grow­ing up, Brig­gin­shaw was the only girl to play in Ip­swich - a rugby league city - but was forced to step away from the game be­tween ages 12-18 be­cause of the phys­i­cal­ity.

Brig­gin­shaw said it was in­spir­ing to see the next gen­er­a­tions of girls out west get­ting an op­por­tu­nity to play at a young age.

“It’s just so up­lift­ing to see how many teams there are for them to play in,” Brig­gin­shaw said.

“We are slowly do­ing it but you can see how far it has come.”

Brig­gin­shaw said she trav­elled ev­ery­where to make her dream come true.

“You can see the par­ents here to­day who have driven 3-4 hours to give their kids a chance, it just shows how much they want it and it’ll be amazing to see how far they go,” she said.

“See­ing how much they want to play is in­spir­ing con­sid­er­ing how tough and hot it is out here.

“There are cer­tainly some fu­ture rugby prodi­gies here to­day, by the time they hit 18 they could be on the scene.”

PHOTO: BIANCA DE MARCHI

FE­MALE FOOTY: Queens­land Ma­roons player Ali Brig­gin­shaw vis­ited Roma to make sure coun­try girls don’t give up on their sport­ing dreams.

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