Ipswich’s Ali Brigginshaw (left) and Natalie Dwyer will represent South-East Queensland at the rugby league state carnival at North Ipswich Reserve this weekend.
Ipswich’s Ali Brigginshaw (left) and Natalie Dwyer will represent South-East Queensland at the rugby league state carnival at North Ipswich Reserve this weekend. Claudia Baxter

Focus on SEQ

SHE has represented Queensland and Australia numerous times.

But for Ipswich's Ali Brigginshaw, the Queensland Women's Rugby League Championships at Ipswich this weekend bring a whole new level of pressure.

The championships run from tonight to Sunday at the North Ipswich Reserve, with the final a curtain-raiser for the Ipswich Jets' home game against Northern Pride.

"Everyone aims to get us," Brigginshaw said of defending champions SEQ.

"In the past they have gotten stronger year by year."

But so has the SEQ division with the Brisbane and Districts club competition up to 10 teams this season, from six last year.

It means a host of new faces in the squad, which comes with its benefits and risks. There is strong competition for places but there is a risk combinations might take time to settle in.

The SEQ squad features other Ipswich players in Springfield teammates Erin Elliot, Suzanne Johnson, Nat Dwyer and twins Flo and Elizabeth Faamita.

"I think it was hard for them to pick the team," said Brigginshaw, who plays for premiers Souths-Logan.

"We've already had three close games this season.

"There was probably only two strong teams last year so there are some new players to rep footy."

With SEQ facing number one challenger Northern Marlins first-up tonight, five-eighth Brigginshaw has plenty of pressure on her shoulders to get her team's attack flowing.

"I haven't had that before," she said. "Not at rep footy."

The reason for that is the 2011 Brisbane and Districts player of the year has had to play second fiddle to Springfield's Erin Elliot, since Brigginshaw broke on to the representative scene.

Elliot at five-eighth meant Brigginshaw in the centres.

However, this year, with Elliot under an injury cloud, Brigginshaw gets the number six jersey.

"I just have to prove my point now," Brigginshaw said.

Ipswich hosts the Queensland Women's Rugby League Championships, beginning tonight at the North Ipswich Reserve.

Defending champions South East Queensland features several Ipswich players. SEQ plays Central Queensland tonight at 6pm, Northern Queensland tomorrow at 10am and Queensland Barbarians tomorrow at 3.30pm.

The final kicks off 12.30pm on Sunday as a curtain raiser to Ipswich Jets' Queensland Cup match.



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