Firebird's family link to original Maroon

Murray Wenzel
Firebird Tara Hinchliffe has taken inspiration from the Maroons ahead of the clash with the Swifts

Queensland Firebirds rookie Tara Hinchliffe is new to Super Netball but well versed in the rivalry with NSW thanks to her family's rich rugby league history.

The 20-year-old's great uncle Rod Reddy played in the first State of Origin in 1980 and has heard all the stories about his playing days.

Hinchliffe and teammate Jemma Mi Mi, herself a former national touch football talent, were on hand at Maroons training on Thursday in a neat coincidence ahead of their own battle with the NSW Swifts in Brisbane on Sunday.

"My grandma tells us a lot of stories (about Rod's career)," Hinchliffe said.

"As a family get together on the couch and watch it.

"I'm a very passionate (Queensland fan) and I don't want to see them lose again."

She said the interstate rivalry was just as strong in netball, especially given both sides are currently locked in equal third with six rounds to play.

The Firebirds, who missed finals last season, jumped from fifth by taking maximum points last weekend and will have an extra shot of confidence after their run-in with the Maroons.

"Just how intense it is and the strength and power of the boys and not being scared to get hit," Hinchliffe said.

"We'll try and take that into the weekend and try not to shut our eyes when someone's running at us."