FLASH DESIGNS: Aaron Rosin, Jake Notley, Charlie Barker and Tess Notley style the new jersey designs to be worn by teams at the Super 8s competition beginning tonight at Jim Finimore Oval.
FLASH DESIGNS: Aaron Rosin, Jake Notley, Charlie Barker and Tess Notley style the new jersey designs to be worn by teams at the Super 8s competition beginning tonight at Jim Finimore Oval. Cordell Richardson

Aloha, Ipswich!

ANIMALS was the theme in year three, with flamingos, toucans and even crustaceans and dachshunds gracing jerseys.

But the hotly contested, widely lauded Ipswich Super 8s will say 'aloha' to some of the top touch football players in the country tonight with a Hawaiian theme set to make the competition shine in its fourth year.

The inaugural Ipswich Super 8s competition begins tonight at Jim Finimore Oval, running every Friday until March 1.

"This year it's Hawaiian print; it's all colourful once again," Ipswich Touch development officer and Super 8s competitor Charlie Barker said.

The jerseys are not the only upgrade to the Super 8s this year. Barker feels the level of competition will again shift another gear this time out.

With the likes of former NRL star Scott Prince and "best male touch player going around" Dylan Hennessey, Barker's statement seems a reasonable one.

"We've got a lot of strong teams entered this year, it will be interesting to see how things go in comparison to last year," she said.

"We have lots (of players) coming from inside Ipswich this year, with Brisbane-based players joining them in teams.

"There's a South-West Toowoomba team, and the South Queensland Sharks which is a top women's team from the Gold Coast.

"Players are coming from all over; some out of Redlands, some Caboolture . . . Sunny Coast players are travelling in as well."

Other notable Ipswich names include Broncos NRLW captain Ali Brigginshaw, Broncos NRL Touch Premiership player Jake Notley (pictured), Cowboys Touch star Lachlan Pierce, Georgina Rackemann from the Titans and capped Australian Rugby7s representative Shenae Ceisiolka.

And that's just out of Ipswich.

Previously, the Super 8s was used as something of a tune-up event for teams in preparation for the Elite 8 tournament. With the introduction of the NRL Touch Premiership, the touch football landscape has shifted slightly allowing for more players to make their way to Ipswich.

"It's great just to put Ipswich on the map," Barker said. "It's not one of the bigger associations, so it's good to be able to provide such an opportunity to players here."

The introduction of the NRL Premiership last year had a big influence in changing perceptions of touch football from simply a social sport to a highly competitive one.

"It's made a huge difference in how touch is perceived in the wider community," Barker said. "For the higher level players, it's nice to boost their profile and get to experience competing all over the country and even New Zealand."

Notley is no stranger to the Super 8s, winning the previous two iterations of his home competition as a member of the Fockers.

Retaining the name this season, the Broncos and Queensland State of Origin player has confidence in a three-peat but admits the going will be tougher this time out.

"We're missing maybe one or two from last year," he said. "There's no guarantees. But I think we can (win)."



Law firm expecting claims of historical child abuse to rise

premium_icon Law firm expecting claims of historical child abuse to rise

A law firm is reaching out to Ipswich community groups.

Magistrate deems accused driver ‘unacceptable risk’

premium_icon Magistrate deems accused driver ‘unacceptable risk’

A P-Plater is charged with committing 10 speeding offences over a period of four...

Why Vinnies chose Ipswich suburb for new venture

premium_icon Why Vinnies chose Ipswich suburb for new venture

A regional executive says more than 2300 people required help from the organisation...