OUR THIRD TI­TAN

Tar­ryn Aiken has the Midas touch in gold and blue

Tweed Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - Steve Vi­vian steve.vi­vian@tweed­dai­lynews.com.au

TOUCH FOOTY: And then there were three.

With Chin­derah link Tar­ryn Aiken mak­ing her de­but in the gold and blue, the Tweed now has a trio of Gold Coast Ti­tans run­ning around in NRL com­pe­ti­tions.

Aiken joined Ti­tans cap­tain Ryan James and kicker Michael Gor­don to make C-bus Sta­dium her footy home af­ter she was se­lected to the Ti­tans’ his­toric in­au­gu­ral squad in the NRL Touch Pre­mier­ship, a six-team league where elite touch foot­ball sides aligned with NRL clubs play matches as cur­tain-raisers to NRL games.

The sea­son con­sists of six games plus a fi­nal.

Queens­land teams (Gold Coast Ti­tans, Bris­bane Bron­cos and North Queens­land Cow­boys) and NSW teams (Par­ra­matta Eels, West Tigers and New­cas­tle Knights) are split into two pools, with the win­ner of each pool pro­gress­ing into the grand fi­nal to be held on the Gold Coast next month.

Aiken and the Ti­tans got their campaign off to the per­fect start against the Cow­boys last month with a 9-6 win in Townsville.

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Tweed River High last year, 18-year-old Aiken, who is now study­ing psy­chol­ogy at Grif­fith Univer­sity, has had a whirl­wind year, es­tab­lish­ing her­self as one of touch footy’s bright­est prospects.

Aiken made her de­but for Aus­tralia in April at the 2018 Open Trans Tas­man tour­na­ment in Ro­torua, New Zealand, where the women’s side knocked off the Ki­wis in a three-game se­ries.

Her next in­ter­na­tional as­sign­ment could be at the Youth Un­der 20 World Cup in Malaysia later this year, with squads soon to be an­nounced.

For now, Aiken says she is loving ev­ery minute of the jour­ney that has taken her from a rugby league player to touch prodigy who has rep­re­sented NSW schools, Queens­land, Aus­tralia and now an NRL fran­chise.

“I love this sport be­cause it is al­ways pro­vid­ing a great chal­lenge, and the friend­ships and mem­o­ries I have made have al­ready been in­cred­i­ble,” she said.

Aiken will next suit up in the NRL Touch Pre­mier­ship when the Ti­tans meets the Bron­cos on Sun­day, July 15 at C-bus Sta­dium on the Gold Coast.

❝de­but Aiken made her Aus­tralian at the 2018 Open Trans Tas­man tour­na­ment in Ro­torua, New Zealand.

PHOTO: SCOTT POWICK

Tar­ryn Aiken is play­ing in the in­au­gu­ral NRL Touch Premier­ship­with the Gold Coast Ti­tans. She also de­buted for Aus­tralia ear­lier in the year.

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