The Ampol Women’s State of Origin returns on Friday with the Queensland Maroons looking to win the title back-to-back after their breakthrough win last year over NSW.
This year’s event will see both sides coached by females for the first time, with the Maroons coached by Tahnee Norris and the Blues by former NSW hooker Kylie Hilder.
This is your Ultimate Preview to the Women’s State of Origin.
Queensland Maroons V New South Wales Sky Blues
Date: Friday, June 25
Kick-off: 7.45pm AEST
Venue: Sunshine Coast Stadium, Sunshine Coast
Since the National Rugby League rebranded the Women’s Interstate Challenge to the Women’s State of Origin in 2018.
1. Tamika Upton, 2. Shenae Ciesiolka, 3. Lauren Brown, 4. Julia Robinson, 5. Karina Brown, 6. Tarryn Aiken, 7. Zahara Temara, 8. Chelsea Lenarduzzi, 9. Destiny Brill, 10. Shannon Mato, 11. Tazmin Gray, 12. Tiana Raftstrand-Smith, 13. Ali Brigginshaw (c). Interchange: 14. Romy Teitzel, 15. Natassja Purontakanen, 16. Shaniah Power, 17. Brianna Clark. Extended Bench: 18. Tallisha Harden, 19. Rona Peters
Coach: Tahnee Norris
New South Wales
1. Botille Vette-Welsh, 2. Yasmin Meakes, 3. Jess Sergis, 4. Isabelle Kelly, 5. Tiana Penitani, 6. Corban Baxter, 7. Maddie Studdon, 8. Simaima Taufa, 9. Keeley Davis, 10. Millie Boyle, 11. Kezie Apps (c), 12. Sarah Togatuki, 13. Hannah Southwell. Interchange: 14. Quincy Dodd, 15. Filomina Hanisi, 16. Kennedy Cherrington, 17. Holli Wheller. Extended Bench: 18. Brydie Parker, 19. Renee Targett.
Coach: Kylie Hilder
Head Coach Tahnee Norris has named a strong 19-player squad which included 15 players who helped win the Origin shield last year.
Young guns Destiny Drill and Tiana Raftstrand-Smith are among five rookies in line to make their Origin debut, after showing strong form in the Harvey Norman National Championships last month.
Head coach Kylie Hilder has included 13 returning players and four possible debutantes in the squad in a bid to reclaim the shield from the Maroons.
Former captain Maddie Studdon and rugged forward Holli Wheeler have also earned recalls after missing last year’s match due to a mixed form and injury.
Fullback Botille Vette-Welsh and prop Millie Boyle have been on light duties to start the week but are expected to play on Friday.
WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR
In a historic victory over NSW, the Queensland Maroons won 24-18 to claim the Women’s State of Origin title for the first time.
The Maroons raced to a 24-0 lead, before three unanswered tries to the Sky Blues set up a grandstand finish.
Queensland five-eighth Tarryn Aiken was awarded the Nellie Doherty Medal for Player of the Match.
QLD STAT ATTACK
Maroons captain Ali Brigginshaw, former skipper Karina Brown, Tazmin Gray and Tallisha Harden have played the most Origin games for Queensland since the competition was rebranded.
NSW STAT ATTACK
Five players from the 2021 NSW side have played in every official game since 2018 which includes Isabelle Kelly, Corban Baxter, Simaima Taufa, Hannah Southwell and Kezie Apps.
Highlights: Blues thrash Maroons in Townsville