Four veteran Newcastle stars have been named by New South Wales Rugby League in the NSW Women’s State of Origin team set to face Queensland in the 2019 clash at North Sydney Oval on Friday, June 21.
Kylie Hilder (hooker), Hannah Southwell (lock), and Isabelle Kelly (centre) have been named in the starting lineup for the state representative squad, while second rower Holli Wheeler will wear the no.15 jumper and play from the bench later this month.
While Southwell, Kelly, and Wheeler all contested the 2018 State of Origin battle that saw New South Wales edge Queensland 16-10 off the back of a double for Kelly, Hilder will be celebrating her nomination after 10 years away from the Blues.
Incoming Blues coach Andrew Patmore named Kezie Apps captain for the side, after Maddie Studdon led the team to their six-point victory last year.
The squad also includes seven debutants, including Tiana Penitani (centre), Shakiah Tungai (wing), Kirra Dibb (five-eighth), and Shontelle Stowers (second row) in the squad’s starting lineup.
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This year’s State of Origin fixture will also be played as a double-header. The inaugural Under-18 Women’s Origin clash, which will feature three young Newcastle stars, will be played ahead of the title fight at North Sydney Oval.
The NSW squad are currently at a training day at the NSW Rugby League Centre of Excellence in Sydney, two weeks out from the representative battle.
NSW Women’s State of Origin team: 1 Corban McGregor (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), 2 Jessica Sergis (Helensburg Tigers), 3 Tiana Penitani (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), 4 Isabelle Kelly (CRL Newcastle), 5 Shakiah Tungai (Port Kembla Blacks), 6 Kirra Dibb (North Sydney Bears), 7 Maddison Studdon (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), 8 Simaima Taufa (Mounties), 9 Kylie Hilder (CRL Newcastle), 10 Vanessa Foliaki (Easts Brisbane (QLD), 11 Kezie Apps (c) (Helensburg Tigers), 12 Shontelle Stowers (North Sydney Bears), 13 Hannah Southwell (CRL Newcastle). Interchange: 14 Botille Vette-Welsh (Wests Tigers), 15 Holli Wheeler (CRL Newcastle), 16 Takilele Katoa (Waratah Tigers (Riverina), 17 Millie Boyle (Burleigh Bears (QLD), 18 Shaylee Bent (Mounties). Coach: Andrew Patmore.