Women's State of Origin - QLD v NSW
Women's State of Origin - QLD v NSW

Rugby league champion ’shocked’ by road named after her

RUGBY LEAGUE superstar Ali Brigginshaw has made a profound impact on the game she loves and now her name will forever be cemented in the suburb in which she grew up.

The humble Ipswich champion, who captained Queensland to its first women’s State of Origin title last month, has practically done it all.

With a World Cup and three-straight NRLW championships under her belt, her achievements and impact on the next generation are immense.

It was perhaps no surprise that local residents submitted her name for new roads in a growing housing estate in Ripley, which is the suburb where she grew up.

Brigginshaw Way is now under construction in Ecco Ripley.

“I was actually in shock when I found out because I was thinking that’s where I grew up, so it will always be there,” she said.

“Growing up it was a big part of my life.

“It’s something that will be there forever even if I’m not still living there.”

It had been a season unlike any other due to COVID-19 and Ms Brigginshaw revealed she almost didn’t take part.

She would end up leading the Broncos to a three-peat after recovering from injury with a 20-10 grand final win against Sydney.

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“I wasn’t going to play if we had to move to Sydney (to play the NRLW season),” she said.

“There were a few chats about not playing this year. Then all of a sudden we were staying in Brisbane and I was all ready to go.

“I’d done my rehab and I’d got to the point where I could go onto the field.

“Because of the sacrifices we all had to make, it definitely made it more rewarding.

“Knowing we had to go into an isolation bubble and do everything we had to do to win was really an achievement for all of the girls and for myself.

“It was very hard but in the end we got the results.”

Although she no longer lives in Ripley, she took a drive with partner Kate to check out the street named after her but said it had yet to sink in.

Her parents still live in the area.

Ms Brigginshaw said her family had talked about all putting in money to buy a block of land on the street.

“I’ve got a massive family, there’s a lot of Brigginshaws, so they’re all claiming it’s theirs,” she said.

“It would be pretty cool to do.

“That might be for future discussions.

“It felt surreal when you see things like that. All those things don’t sink in.

“Even when you walk into school (to drop her kids off) little boys are yelling out to me and know what games I’ve played.

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“That doesn’t sink in. I think I’m just playing footy, the game I love.

“All these little kids are watching the games and noticing. I don’t think it’s sunk in how much I impact these kids.”

An Ipswich City Council spokesman said the application to name the street was approved by council officers in October last year.

“The consultants for stages 13-15 of Ecco Ripley submitted names for proposed new roads based upon the theme of the names of some of Ipswich’s most notable and well-respected figures and celebrate some important events and artwork in the city’s history,” he said.

“The proposed road names included sportspeople, musicians, authors, artists, longstanding local residents and other notable public figures.

“Included in the list of suggested names was Ali Brigginshaw.”

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.