As the Gold Coast Titans prepared to enter the NRLW for the first time there were plenty of possible debutantes in their squad.
But perhaps none had waited longer for a crack at the big time than rookie five-eighth Grace Griffin. At 31 years old, many would consider the chance of them playing in the NRLW long gone.
However, the Titans five-eighth had experienced a long education in touch football representing Queensland while also playing in the Queensland Rugby League competition.
Born in Victoria but growing up in Wagga Wagga, Griffin continued her journey north seven years ago when she moved to the Sunshine State to study high school teaching.
It was in Queensland she met and teamed up with Brisbane Broncos legend and halfback Ali Brigginshaw who acted as a guiding hand, enticing Griffin to join her at Ipswich and Valleys in the BHP Premiership.
That partnership at the scrumbase resulted in Valleys winning the 2021 BHP Premiership grand final, and ultimately led to Griffin being scouted by the Titans for their inaugural NRLW team.
Like many of these stories though, the NRLW is the end of a much longer journey and the start of an exciting chapter, and for Griffin this all begins in Wagga Wagga.
The New South Wales country town that provided the game with the Mortimer clan can now lay claim to its first ever NRLW player.
“Girls playing rugby league wasn’t a thing”
Wagga Wagga is a major regional city 452 kilometres south west of Sydney that was once considered to be the capital city of Australia.
The Griffin family shifted there from Victoria and it’s where Grace received her footballing education.
Unlike her brothers though, it was touch football she took up.
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