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NSW Origin captain for 2019 Kezie Apps

Kezie Apps will lead a new-look NSW side with seven debutantes named as the Blues look to defend their Holden State of Origin crown against Queensland on June 21 at North Sydney Oval.

NSW coach Andrew Patmore has sprung a few surprise selections and overlooked several incumbents after last year's inaugural Origin campaign.

Player of the Harvey Norman National Championships, Tiana Penitani, will make her Origin debut, while Shakiah Tungai, Kirra Dibb, Shontelle Stowers, Botille Vette-Welsh, Takilele Katoa, Shaylee Bent and Millie Boyle have all been included after strong performances in the tournament at Burleigh Heads.

Boyle, sister of Manly Sea Eagles forward Morgan Boyle, played for South-East Queensland at last week's Championships but hails from Cobargo, near Bega in NSW, and has pledged her allegiance to the Blues despite previously representing Queensland in rugby.

St George Illawarra representative Jess Sergis returns to the fold after missing last year's inaugural clash with an ankle injury, while 43-year-old Kylie Hilder breaks back into the side after a decade.

Apps has been named as captain with last year's skipper Maddie Studdon set to focus solely on her role in the No.7 jersey after being retained.

Golden Boot winner Isabelle Kelly
Golden Boot winner Isabelle Kelly ©Jason O'Brien/NRL Photos

Corban McGregor will fill the void left by Sam Bremner at fullback, while Isabelle Kelly, who was the 2018 Golden Boot winner and player of the match in the win over the Maroons 12 months ago, is expected to overcome a knee injury and take her place in the side.

Those to miss out for the side include Jillaroos representative Elianna Walton, high-profile prop Ruan Sims, Rebecca Young and hooker Rebecca Riley.

Last year's backline specialists Nakia Davis-Welsh and Taleena Simon were both ruled out through pregnancies, while Lavina O'Mealey has retired. 

Queensland announced their squad on Thursday with four debutantes listed.

The second official Holden State of Origin clash will be shown live on Channel Nine. NSW won the inaugural clash at North Sydney Oval last year 16-10 in front of nearly 7,000 spectators. 

An under-18s interstate clash will be played as a curtain raiser in a first for the women's game with teams to be announced next week.

NSW squad: Corban McGregor, Jessica Sergis, Tiana Penitani, Isabelle Kelly, Shakiah Tungai, Kirra Dibb, Maddie Studdon, Simaima Taufa, Kylie Hilder, Vanessa Foliaki, Shontelle Stowers, Kezie Apps, Hannah Southwell, Holli Wheeler, Millie Boyle, Botille Vette-Welsh, Takilele Katoa, Shaylee Bent.

Women's State of Origin stars Kezzie Apps and Ali Brigginshaw.
Women's State of Origin stars Kezzie Apps and Ali Brigginshaw. ©NRL Photos
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