NSW Blues

Wednesday 8 May 2024

Westpac NSW Sky Blues coach Kylie Hilder has named two debutants in a 20-player squad for Game One of the 2024 Ampol Women’s State of Origin series at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday 16 May.

The opening match kicks off an historic year for women’s Origin, which moves to a three-game series for the first time since the annual interstate clash came under the Origin banner in 2018.

Newcastle Knights hooker Olivia Higgins, who has been named in the starting side, and Canberra Raiders prop Grace Kemp, who has been named on the bench, will make their debuts.

The extended squad also includes the uncapped Jakiya Whitfeld and Ellie Johnston, and Kirra Dibb who represented the Sky Blues in 2019 and 2022.

Eight NRLW clubs are represented with the Sydney Roosters having the most with six players.

Seasoned campaigners Kezie Apps (11 games for NSW) and Isabelle Kelly (10) will again lead the team as co-captains, while the experienced Corban Baxter returns as five-eighth.

Former Jillaroos Ruan Sims and Sam Bremner have been named as Hilder’s assistant coaches.

NSW will aim to reclaim the Origin Shield Queensland won on aggregate points in 2023 after the two-game series finished 1-1. Game Two will be played in Newcastle on Thursday 6 June and Game Three in Townsville on Thursday 27 June.

The women’s Origin honour roll is currently tied at 3-all. NSW won the Shield in 2018-19 and 2022, and Queensland in 2020, 2021 and 2023.

WESTPAC NSW SKY BLUES

Game One, Suncorp Stadium Brisbane, Thursday 16 May

1. Emma Tonegato (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)

2. Jaime Chapman (Gold Coast Titans)

3. Jessica Sergis (Sydney Roosters)

4. Isabelle Kelly (Sydney Roosters)

5. Tiana Penitani (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)

6. Corban Baxter (Sydney Roosters)

7. Rachael Pearson (Parramatta Eels)

8. Millie Elliott (Sydney Roosters)

9. Olivia Higgins (Newcastle Knights)

10. Caitlan Johnston (Newcastle Knights)

11. Yasmin Clydsdale (Newcastle Knights)

12. Kezie Apps (Wests Tigers)

13. Keeley Davis (Sydney Roosters)

14. Taliah Fuimaono (Gold Coast Titans)

15. Olivia Kernick (Sydney Roosters)

16. Grace Kemp (Canberra Raiders)

17. Sarah Togatuki (Wests Tigers)

18. Jakiya Whitfeld (North Queensland Cowboys)

19. Kirra Dibb (North Queensland Cowboys)

20. Ellie Johnston (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)

Coach: Kylie Hilder