Ali Brigginshaw, Heather Ballinger and Brittany Breayley. Image: Broncos.com.au
Ali Brigginshaw and Brittany Breayley will lead the team as captain and vice-captain respectively; both have strong ties to the heritage city having played club football for Brothers Ipswich.
It’s not the first time ‘The Ipswich Connection’ has powered the Broncos and longtime club supporters will surely remember the original connection of Allan Langer and Kerrod and Kevin Walters.
Brigginshaw skippered the Broncos through the three-game regular season undefeated and the team enters the grand final as heavy favourites.
She is the best five-eighth in women’s football and has led from the front, scoring two tries in three games, averaging 79.6 running metres a game, 160 kicking metres per game and racking up three try assists and four line break assists.
When Brigginshaw, 28, was younger she used to play football in the backyard, at times pretending to be Allan Langer.
On Sunday, she will be looking to emulate the little general again. Coincidentally, it is 20 years since Langer captained the Broncos to his fourth premiership.
“Our mindset has been that the Broncos are a team that has got to a lot of finals, so for us to be in the grand final in the first year I think it would be very fitting for us to get the win in Broncos colours,” she told NRL.com earlier in the week.
The Broncos received a boost in the lead up to this weekend’s game when vice-captain Breayley took out the Dally M female player award.
The 27-year-old has also fired for the Broncos during the NRL Women’s Premiership with three try assists, 61.1 average running metres and 31 tackles per game.
“I accept this award on behalf of all the girls and can’t wait to rip in on field on Sunday. A huge mention to my family and friends back home, without your support I wouldn’t be standing here,” she said.
The NRL Women’s Premiership grand final is on Channel 9 from 1.35pm.
Relive the original Ipswich connection: