United force: Ipswich footy clubs build for elite challenge
RUGBY LEAGUE: Rugby League Ipswich clubs are joining forces to build a super-team capable of delivering the rugby league mad city the maiden QRLW title.
Kicking off on March 14, the QRLW will run for eight weeks and feature eight outfits aligned with Intrust Super Cup clubs.
Chosen to represent Ipswich, Brothers have linked with Goodna and Norths to bolster their star-studded squad led by Australian captain Ali Brigginshaw and hooker Brittany Breayley.
"This is an exciting time in rugby league for women - and Ipswich, we need to be part of it," the man to oversee the campaign RLI legend Dean Daylight said.
"That's why Brothers put their hand up to be part of it and I think it's great for women's rugby league. "
Daylight said both the Tigers and Eagles had contributed talented players to ensure the best representation of Ipswich possible.
"It is not just Brothers Ipswich and I know that sounds a bit weird given the rivalry between the clubs over the years, but in terms of the women's game the clubs have come together to say well Brothers Ipswich is representing Ipswich, not Brothers."
The blue and white qualified for the semis of the relatively strong southeast Queensland league last season, only to be pipped by eventual victors Wests, and the combined Ipswich side is determined to reach the inaugural QRLW decider.
With the two best playmaker's in the country at the helm, there is no limit to what the side can achieve.
The responsibility will not fall solely on the big guns' shoulders, however, with the club adding some extremely promising residents to the roster in recent seasons, including Taimane Levu and Tanika Marshall.
Daylight said Levu featured for Australia A and Samoa last year, while daughter of long-term Ipswich Jet Brendon Marshall, Tanika, appeared for the Broncos at the NRLW Nines and would line up for the indigenous All Stars on Saturday.
He said both Ipswich products were fine examples of the type of raw and untapped local talent the composite side was seeking.
"We've got some talented players and we've got some young up-and-coming ladies but we're always on the lookout for more," he said.
"We're aiming to play semi-final football and nothing less. The top four play finals so we'll aim for a top four position and go from there. "Ali is assistant coach and she has jumped right into that role. Training has been pretty hard so far given we're moving into an elite competition."
The QRLW will play by the same rules as the ISC, meaning Daylight can only select 17 players and use 10 interchanges per game.
"The girls realise I can only take so many players, so fighting for positions is something that is happening now and you can see the girls working hard to get their foot in the door," he said.
Marshall said an auspicious culture was forming, with the closely bonded players meeting for extra gym sessions on their own accord as they left no stone unturned in their preparations.
"The evidence says that women play rugby league because they are friends," he said.
"The social side is that they are a tight bunch of girls.
"They have been together for a couple of years. Yes, we have added some new players into the mix but they have also jumped on board. We're confident in our ability and we've got to go out and do what we've got to do."
Brothers Ipswich begin their premiership quest against the North Queensland Gold Stars on March 14 at home. The Gold Stars possess the best from the Cowboys' women's academy and a cracking contest is tipped.
Daylight encouraged league fans to head along and support. Potential recruits can phone Daylight on 0430540082 for more info.