Maroons player Brittany Breayley.

It was the glowing compliment that has helped propel Queensland hooker Brittany Breayley into 2018.

"She's a good No.9, she's tenacious and doesn't mind getting involved defensively, knows when to run and pass," former Maroons captain Cameron Smith told NRL.com last year.

"I'd like to think that maybe some of the things I've done have helped her develop her game and it's great to see the improvement in the girls over the past few years."

Breayley was understandably flattered by the words after having idolised Smith and Darren Lockyer growing up.

When Smith announced his shock retirement from representative football, Breayley was at North Sydney Oval a few days later promoting the women's Origin fixture which kicks off on Friday night.

"He's achieved everything possible, especially last year. So it's a good way to go out. It opens the door for a lot of players, a bit like our women's side," she told NRL.com last month.

And the 26-year-old wasn't wrong.

Queensland are banking on their six debutantes to help launch generation next after NSW have managed to peg back results in recent years to currently hold the interstate challenge trophy.

The Maroons' mission of winning the first-ever women's Origin shield hinges on how well new coach Jason Hetherington can have the side firing against a more fancied Blues outfit.

Hetherington has gone to extra lengths this year, hiring the support staff of Allan Langer and Trevor Gillmeister to go with assistant coaches Karyn Murphy and Nat Dwyer.

He's also had the extended squad training on weekends since April in a bid to bring everyone together across Queensland.

"Jason brings that passion back into the team, not that we've lost it, but he knows what systems win from the men's side in this new period," Breayley said.

"We're a team that a few of us have been together for a while, so we bring as much as he'll bring. But to have him there running around as well is awesome and a fresh change.

Queensland Maroons player Brittany Breayley.
Queensland Maroons player Brittany Breayley. ©Scott Davis/NRL Photos

"You can feel the fire in him and it runs through us girls. The game means a lot to us and Queensland."

NSW suffered two setbacks with the losses of Ruan Sims and Caitlin Moran through injury, but the opposition state still boasts 11 Australian internationals in the starting line-up.

Queensland will go in as underdogs after a 16-point loss last season but in true Maroons spirit, that status is likely to suit them.

"It's always hard coming off a loss but all the girls are excited," Breayley said.

"We know it's a huge rivalry and the same as what the men have. Their starting forward pack is strong and they've got a speedy backline.

"We've been able to blood some of the younger talent and we're confident they'll bring a new element to the side."

 

Holden Women's State of Origin is ready to kick-off a new era in elite women's sport. Witness the spirit of Origin manifest on the iconic North Sydney Oval on Friday, June 22. Tickets available now!