Tazmin Rapana: Inspired by a Legend, Leading the Maroons

Tazmin Rapana: Inspired by a Legend, Leading the Maroons

Queensland second-rower Tazmin Rapana, formerly known as Tazmin Gray, attributes her exceptional game sense to Maroons legend Johnathan Thurston. Growing up playing in the halves, Rapana admired Thurston’s ability to control the tempo of the game. Now 28, Rapana’s league IQ and physicality were pivotal in Queensland’s State of Origin triumph last year. Tazmin Rapana: Inspired by a Legend, Leading the Maroons

Rapana, who has football in her blood with Canberra great Jordan Rapana as her brother, is set to be a key player in Thursday night’s series opener against NSW at Suncorp Stadium.

Reflecting on her idol, Rapana said, “I never watched players in the forwards. I just loved how Johnathan played the game and how slow-motion he made the game look.”

Rapana’s journey in rugby league has been shaped by her upbringing in a large, football-loving family. “I am from a family of 10 – six boys and four girls. I have watched my brothers play and listened to how they speak about the game and how they internalise everything.”

As she prepares for another series, Rapana is ready to showcase the ethos of control and tempo she learned from Thurston. “In my old age, I have learned how to control my body a bit more and get more out of it. Put a footy in my hand and I will run and pass the ball all day but at the end of the day it comes down to who you are playing with.”

Rapana’s love for football has been a lifelong passion, and she remains a crucial figure for the Maroons as they aim for victory against the Blues.

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Source: https://nit.com.au/15-05-2024/11406/maroons-dynamo-rapana-credits-thurston-legacy-for-form

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