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Ali Brigginshaw signs with Devils

Ali Brigginshaw has become a Devil, taking another step in one of rugby league’s most remarkable careers.

Ten weeks after she was the best player in Australia’s World Cup final triumph, Brigginshaw returned to training, this time for the Norths Devils ahead of the club’s inaugural season in the statewide BMD Premiership.

Brigginshaw has signed on alongside her Queensland State of Origin squad teammates Jada Ferguson, Shenae Ciesiolka, Fiona Jahnke and Hannah Larsson in a Devils team taking shape ahead of the first pre-season match on February 11.

It’s the latest step for Brigginshaw in a career that has flourished with each fascinating move from a junior who outplayed boys in representative teams to the Broncos’ foundation NRLW premiership skipper and a triple World Cup winner.

“I’m really excited about playing with Norths and in a club with this history,” Brigginshaw said.

“It’s the first time Norths is in this competition so there are no expectations on us. We want to build a team and build up these pathways on the northside.

“We want to be out showing girls that they can take these pathways from their junior clubs through to Norths and then on to the Broncos. It’s really important that we continue to develop that.”

Brigginshaw’s name will sit with distinction on the Devils’ honour board that already includes such famous league names as Clive Churchill, Cameron Smith, Greg Inglis and Billy Slater.

Brigginshaw’s impact on rugby league has been immense and her on-field deeds are not slowing, underlined by the player of the match award in the Jillaroos’ stirring World Cup triumph over New Zealand.

Brigginshaw wanted to play for her beloved Ipswich in the BMD Premiership however the Jets were not part of the eight-team intake for 2023 that also includes Mackay Cutters as a new club.

She will be a proud foundation player for the Jets when their opportunity arises but for now Brigginshaw will call Bishop Park home for the BMD Premiership before the next NRLW season.

She liked what she saw in a Devils club that relished fielding its first team in the Harvey Norman girls’ Under 19 competition last season.

“I went to the club and there were so many familiar faces there,” Brigginshaw said.

“I saw people who I had connections with going back a little way.

“And I saw that there was a club training day before Christmas that brought all the teams together. I heard some really good feedback about how inclusive that day was across the club and it was something that I wanted to be a part of.”

One of those familiar faces was Breanna Eales, who played touch football alongside Brigginshaw when both were in their teens.

Devils coach Zac Wallwork said he was delighted with Brigginshaw’s arrival at the club for a season that begins with a Bishop Park clash with Burleigh Bears on March 11. The Devils will play all seven rival teams in the regular season, culminating with a home clash with Tweed on April 29. The four-team finals series begins the following weekend.

“Ali will bring so much to the club, particularly her experience and professionalism around younger players,” Wallwork said.

“Ali already has strong connections with a number of our players.

“She obviously sets high standards and she has a positive impact everywhere she goes. We’re rapt that Ali has chosen to play for Norths.”

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