League legend returns home after six years of premierships
AFTER six years winning premierships with Souths Logan, Ali Brigginshaw is finally returning home.
The former Norths junior is back at the Tigers for the 2016 season and beyond. She is determined to create a rugby league dynasty.
For several seasons the incumbent Australian halfback has spoken of returning to her home-town club, but now it has become a reality.
The catalyst for finally making the move was the presence at Norths of Brigginshaw's former Souths Logan, Queensland and Australia teammate Natalie Dwyer as Norths coach.
Brigginshaw admits the reality of the situation has still to hit home however, after such a long time at the dominant Souths Logan Club.
"It still hasn't sunk in yet," she said.
If Brigginshaw had any apprehension about the move it has been eased by the enthusiasm shown in pre-season training by her new Norths teammates.
"I've been training with Norths the last couple of months," she said.
"There's heaps of young, up and coming players and everyone is coming back from last year."
It gives Brigginshaw the confidence that the Tigers can compete for the Brisbane Division One title in 2016.
The 26-year-old returns to North Ipswich with the long term in mind.
She hopes to help the Tigers establish themselves as one of the dominant forces in Brisbane Women's league.
The leading playmaker in the women's game worldwide also has a point to prove.
After breaking her leg in three places representing South East Queensland in June, Brigginshaw was overlooked for the Australian side to contest the Auckland Nines and the All Stars match in February.
She admits it hurt to be told she was not being considered, having worked tirelessly to prove her fitness with the help of Wiser One Crossfit at Tivoli.
"You never want to miss an opportunity to represent your country," she said.
Brigginshaw believes she should have had enough points in the bank to have earned the selectors' loyalty, despite her injury.
She concedes her pace off the mark and when changing direction is still hampered by the injury.
But in a fitness test over 1.2km she was only 10 seconds off her best time.
Having accepted the selectors decision she is now even more focussed on making her return to the game with Norths a rousing success.
It means she can give more of her time to her new club, which is a bonus for the Tigers.