KEY PLAYER: Ali Brigginshaw in action for Queensland during the Women's State of Origin game in North Sydney this year. The match will be played on the Sunshine Coast next year. Photo: Marke Kolbe/Getty Images.
KEY PLAYER: Ali Brigginshaw in action for Queensland during the Women's State of Origin game in North Sydney this year. The match will be played on the Sunshine Coast next year. Photo: Marke Kolbe/Getty Images.

Women’s State of Origin to be held on Sunshine Coast in 2020

RUGBY LEAGUE: Star playmaker Ali Brigginshaw is optimistic Queensland can rattle New South Wales when they collide in the Women's State of Origin at Sunshine Coast Stadium next year.

The Maroons have lost the previous four interstate encounters, including a tough 14-4 defeat last season.

But the past three editions have been in enemy territory and it's hoped they can give the Blues a shake next time around, on home soil.

"We've been on the back foot," Brigginshaw said.

"New South Wales have a lot of young talent and the Queenslanders haven't been able to match them in the last couple of years but we're building each year.

"We're going to have some young girls coming through so hopefully we can give them a good run next year."

While the battle of the packs is always important in big games, it's out wide where Brigginshaw says the Maroons must improve.

"Their (the Blues') back five are extremely strong so we're going to have to figure out a way to stop them. That's going to be the key."

Queensland, coached by Jason Hetherington, should boast the firepower to pose a threat. Brigginshaw is likely to play a central role.

The Australian representative, who guided the Jillaroos to a 28-8 victory over New Zealand at Wollongong on Friday, was a linchpin for the premiership-winning Brisbane Broncos in the NRLW this season.

And she said the Maroons would relish playing on home soil, drawing motivation from the Queensland fans in the stands.

"New South Wales had that when times were tough (at stages during games). They had that crowd support so the girls will definitely feel the difference next year.

"And our families will be there to support us and that will be massive. It'll be awesome. I can't wait. I look forward to it already."

It will be the first time Queensland has hosted the match under the official Holden State of Origin banner. It was known as the Women's Interstate Challenge until last year, when the name was changed. Brigginshaw said the game would provide the state's young footy fans with a chance to see the action and be inspired.

"The young girls will be able to come and support the game. There's a huge following in Queensland, so to get many of the girls, and boys there, that will be awesome," she said.

NRL head of elite football Graham Annesley said the time was right for the fixture to head to Queensland.

"The Sunshine Coast is a growing area with the perfect stadium for Women's State of Origin which is why we chose the region."

NRL general manager of elite women's programs Tiffany Slater expects the code's stars to be in action and inspiring youngsters.

"There will be countless girls and boys from Queensland and interstate getting up close and personal to many of their idols … creating rugby league memories that will undoubtedly last a lifetime," she said.

"The likes of Ali Brigginshaw, Annette Brander and Talisha Harden will be ecstatic to play in front of their home fans again, and I'm just as certain Kezie Apps and the Blues will be doing everything they can to keep the shield in NSW."

Caboolture product Brander, who has played for Beerwah, was player of the match for the Broncos in the NRLW grand final.

Sunshine Coast Stadium will also host two NRL games in 2020, with the Rabbitohs to host a match and the Sharks to host a match.



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