Hodges: The girls deserve to be known as Maroons

I think it’s fantastic the Queensland women’s team is now known as the Harvey Norman Queensland Maroons.

I think the girls have come a long way; I think they have earned the right to be called the Maroons, especially after last year’s State of Origin.

We watched that game and it’s played almost the same as the men’s – there was the same passion, the same pride.

The women are exactly the same as the men.

I think it’s only right they are called the Maroons; they wear the same outfit and they’re a bunch of Queenslanders, so good on them.

With Fox Sports, I called a lot of the women’s games last year and watching, I saw a lot of classy players.

Their skill level is what caught my eye first.

The way they can swing the ball around, their kicking game, the players they’ve got on the ball all the time – they’re very intelligent.

I think over the next couple of years, as they train more and it becomes a full time job for them, I think they’ll get better.

I’m really looking forward to watching their development.

Ali Brigginshaw in action for Queensland. Photo: QRL Media
Ali Brigginshaw in action for Queensland. Photo: QRL Media

There’s a couple of players that really impress me at the moment.

Isabelle Kelly, who played for the Roosters at centre in the NRLW last year - she’s a really good player. Even though she’s not a Queenslander, I think she’s a wonderful talent.

Obviously the Broncos girls are impressive.

Ali Brigginshaw for one; I know Scott Prince has worked a lot with her this past year.

Last year, being one of the assistant coaches at the Broncos, Princey really watched her develop and helped her; you just see the same traits Princey used to play with, she’s following in his steps.

Then obviously young Broncos winger Julia Robinson is impressive; I think she only just started playing rugby league and she’s already played for the Jillaroos.

They’re some really solid girls.

Being part of the Queensland Maroons meant everything to me, and it should mean everything to them.

The 2018 Queensland team. Photo: QRL Media
The 2018 Queensland team. Photo: QRL Media

You’re representing the entire state of Queensland – the people, obviously your family and friends. You’re walking in big footsteps every time you put that jersey on.

You think about the people who have come before you who have paved the way – guys like Artie Beetson, who was the first ever Maroons captain. You see the passion and pride he played with.

Whenever you talk about that jersey, and you hear others talk about the jersey, everyone gets emotional because it means something.

It means that you’re part of a unique family only a certain amount of people are part of. There’s a sense of pride that you’ve made it.

You’ve spent your whole childhood watching your childhood heroes wearing that Maroons jersey and the day has come for you to wear it.  

I still remember coming off the bus and walking into the sheds… seeing that jersey and seeing your number and your name, there’s a sense of belonging and a sense of satisfaction.

No one can ever take that away from you.