Ali leads Broncos into historic new chapter
AUSTRALIAN World Cup star Ali Brigginshaw has been named the inaugural Broncos women's captain, with the playmaker vowing to uphold Brisbane's proud traditions.
As the Broncos NRLW team prepare to make history when they play for the first time in a trial match against PNG on Sunday, Brigginshaw has spoken of her pride at being handed the reins of the team.
Brigginshaw was selected by coach Paul Dyer after a team camp over the weekend and is one of the most experienced players within Brisbane's 22-woman squad.
Born in Ipswich, the gifted half started playing rugby league at the age of 10, progressing through the junior ranks with the likes of Daly Cherry-Evans and Chris Sandow. She had to give the game up at the age of 12 but returned at 18 and made her Queensland and Jillaroo debuts in 2009.
Last year she was crowned player of the match in the women's World Cup final.
Brigginshaw was one of the first players the Broncos signed for the inaugural NRLW season.
"I met Ali in 2008 and have known her for 10 years," Dyer said.
"She would be the first person to admit she has changed a lot from a girl who played footy for herself to someone who plays for others and for her team."
Brigginshaw said she was left speechless when assistant coach Scott Prince made the announcement.
But that's how much it means to the 28-year-old, who joins an illustrious list of Broncos captains that includes Wally Lewis, Allan Langer and Darren Lockyer.
She will make history as the first women's captain, her first major leadership role and something she has worked towards for the past 12 months.
"It was very emotional," she said of the moment she was named captain.
"It's not something I necessarily pictured I would get but it was something I always wanted to do.
"I changed the way I play to put myself in the frame … I've become calmer. It's surreal to be captain for the first ever women's team."
Brigginshaw will lead the team out for the first time at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday, with hooker Brittany Breayley named as vice-captain.
The trial is just the starting point for their short season but already Brigginshaw has her eyes set on the prize - the premiership trophy.
"We all want it," Brigginshaw said. "You can see it in the team's eyes. We want to hold that trophy. There would be nothing better."