Ali making pivotal bid
IT has shades of Ipswich’s Walters brothers Kerrod and Steve vying for the Queensland and Australian hooker’s spot in the early 1990s.
The question is which of two Ipswich players will start at five-eighth for Australia in their Test against Samoa on September 3.
After guiding Souths Logan to a 40-8 grand final win and being named the Brisbane Women’s Rugby League player-of-the-year for the second successive season, Ali Brigginshaw would love a crack.
The Ripley 21-year-old returned from an injury that was supposed to end her season to guide her team to the premiership from five-eighth and has been picked in the Australian squad to play Samoa in Samoa on September 3.
“I came back probably five weeks ago,” the former Ipswich Norths junior said.
“I ruptured the AC (anterior cruciate) in my shoulder when I dislocated it. I was supposed to be out for the season but the doc said because I was young, it would heal.”
Brigginshaw said the shoulder had given her no problems since the comeback, which is just as well, as it is likely to get a good work out against the Samoans.
The injury meant Brigginshaw missed the annual State of Origin clash against NSW and the Queensland titles for South East Queensland.
It had her fearing she might miss out on Jillaroos selection but being rated the best player in Australia’s best competition carried some weight.
“I’m really pumped actually,” Brigginshaw said. “Especially after returning from the injury.”
But her club form may not be enough to get her a start at her preferred five-eighth position for Australia.
When Brigginshaw has represented Australia and Queensland previously, she has usually had to play centre, with Springfield’s Wests-Centenary player Erin Elliot at five-eighth.
Brigginshaw has accepted the status quo without question previously, but now has the confidence to query the selection.
“I just want to know (why they won’t play me at five-eighth),” she said.
“I don’t mind centre. I just like the ball in my hands.
“In attack I like directing.”