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When Tahnee Norris last played for Queensland at Suncorp Stadium, the gates weren't even open in time for family and friends to support the players.

But next month, the cauldron of rugby league will welcome in a slew of fans for Game One of this year's historic three game Ampol Women's State of Origin series, with the current Maroons coach excited to see the state v state encounter chosen to kick off a huge weekend of rugby league.

“We played a couple of (Interstate Challenge) games at Suncorp and I remember … one of them where we played and it was two games before the men’s game, so the Under 19s were played between us and the men as well," Norris said. 

“So we were 'early' early and hardly anyone was there because the gates weren't even open.

“It was one of those experiences where our family were trying to get in to see us and hanging at the gate, trying to get the gates open to watch us play.

Maroons coach Tahnee Norris playing for Queensland at Suncorp Stadium in 2011.
Maroons coach Tahnee Norris playing for Queensland at Suncorp Stadium in 2011. ©QRL Images

“But by half-time, it was packed and the atmosphere in the crowd was insane. It was not packed for a men's game, but packed for us and they really got behind us and we were in that era that we hadn't lost a game 16 years.

“It was massive to have that support from the crowd and it's such a good venue.

“Everyone's so close and Queenslanders are so ridiculously passionate; to play at Suncorp, even back in the day, it was an amazing feeling, so I can't wait to see Game One before Magic Round."

For Norris, the standalone fixture was another sign of the growth of the game and steady progress that had been made since her time as a pioneering player in the women's space.

“Hopefully everyone comes out supports the girls because they're going to get a really good quality game of football.

“It's such a special event for these girls.

“They don't get to play there very often and then to play Game One of Origin in the first ever three-game series, how exciting.

“This is the best women's game they'll get; this is like the cream of the crop of Australian talent and Origin is such a passionate game and these girls want to play in this game."

Ali Brigginshaw and Jaime Chapman help launch the 2024 Ampol Women's State of Origin series in Brisbane.
Ali Brigginshaw and Jaime Chapman help launch the 2024 Ampol Women's State of Origin series in Brisbane. ©Scott Davis / NRL Images

While Broncos and Maroons captain Ali Brigginshaw has played a number of big games at Suncorp Stadium before, including winning the 2017 Rugby League World Cup final, she has never had the opportunity to represent her state on the ground that holds so many special memories for Queensland fans.

Speaking at the official launch of the series alongside her coach Norris and Sky Blues representatives Jaime Chapman and Olivia Kernick, Brigginshaw was in a jovial mood and looking to manifest winning moments for the Maroons. 

"I've seen an Interstate Challenge played there a long time ago, but I was injured that year so I didn't get to play there," Brigginshaw said.

"That was played at four o'clock, it wasn't really advertised; and now to know that we're running out there for Game One of ahead of Magic Round is pretty crazy.

"We have so many historic moments from the men's game of so many famous players and so many famous wins that have happened there, (but) now we're able to create our history there.

"So we'll talk about that, Game One of Origin when Ali Brigginshaw chipped-and-chased and scored – I was going to say Chappo [Chapman], but I don’t want her to score – but we'll have those moments that we can talk about which we haven't had before."

The Harvey Norman Queensland Maroons Origin team will be named on May 6. 

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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