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Star factor: The key players who will decide women's Origin

Need some help on who to watch in Harvey Norman State of Origin on Friday night at Sunshine Coast Stadium?

Of the 34 players named to line up for both sides, 15 are set to make their Origin debut with seven for Queensland and eight for defending champions NSW. has picked out four players to keep an eye on as they look to play key roles in a bid to get their state over the line.


Star: Ali Brigginshaw 

If there's one arena Ali Brigginshaw is yet to truly dominate in it's State of Origin, and that's no disrespect to the inspirational leader, who was part of the Maroons' dominance prior to 2016 during the interstate challenge before NSW began to swing the tide in results.

Brigginshaw will go into the clash on home soil playing career-best footy and injury-free after an ankle scare hampered her in the corresponding game last season.

Her switch to lock has rejuvenated her game and she's the key link between the forwards and outside if they're to get a roll-on.

Rookie: Shaniah Power

North Queensland product Shaniah Power gets her first chance to pull on a Maroons jersey in Friday night's clash, fresh off making her NRLW debut with the Warriors in October, where she starred in the side's final round game with two tries.

The 23-year-old is a creative back-rower coming through the system after transitioning from the outside backs and will look to provide some impact off the bench for Jason Hetherington.

Upton is at it again

X-Factor: Tamika Upton 

You could call her the rookie or the star but either way Tamika Upton is the X-Factor the Maroons have been missing over the last two years.

Upton has been the form outside back in 2020 after making her Broncos NRLW debut last season. The Rockhampton junior's combination with Ali Brigginshaw and Tarryn Aiken will be critical to the side's chances of winning their first shield on home soil.

Not even the thought of getting the jitters on Origin debut should get in her way of putting on a show. 

Under-rated: Lauren Brown 

Rugby sevens convert Lauren Brown has built a handy resume since switching to her first love rugby league this season.

Brown started her journey as a five-eighth at Burleigh in Queensland's Holcim Cup before playing on the wing and at hooker for the Broncos during the NRLW in a true showing of her versatility.

She'll start in the centres against NSW and be tasked with the challenge of containing fellow convert Tiana Penitani. Brown is also a capable goal kicker and could be required to step up with the boot at some stage with last year's sharpshooters Chelsea Baker and Meg Ward missing.

Qld Maroons v NSW Women

New South Wales

Star: Hannah Southwell 

It was only 12 months ago she was listed as's under-rated player to watch, so it's only fitting Hannah Southwell is finally getting some of the recognition she deserves, no longer flying under the radar.

Her bone-rattling hits have caught the eye of everyone this season but none more so than her peers, who voted her as the RLPA's Players' Champion in 2020.

In her third appearance in sky blue, the Newcastle product will lead from the front and won't let anyone down.

NRLW Tackle of the Year - Hannah Southwell

Rookie: Keeley Davis 

A rare case, similar to Maroons centre Julia Robinson, where livewire Keeley Davis has played for her country before pulling on an Origin jersey.

Injury hampered Davis from being selected in last year's game but she returned to represent the Jillaroos in the 2019 Test against New Zealand. Davis has spent her fair share of time at hooker this year as she looks to make the position her own at Origin level.

Davis could also spend some time in the halves during the game if injury strikes or points are required with Quincy Dodd waiting in the wings on the bench.  

Relive the 2019 Women's Origin

X-Factor: Isabelle Kelly 

There is no doubting Isabelle Kelly at the representative level with the NSW centre proving a handful for the Maroons over the past two years with a combined two tries, 10 tackle busts, three line breaks and two try assists.

Kelly's ability to get out of dummy half and look for yardage is among the best in the game and while her form may have suffered this year at the Dragons she'll still be a high priority for the Maroons to shut down.

An ankle concern may be the only thing stopping her from having an enormous game in enemy territory.

Under-rated: Filomina Hanisi 

A quiet achiever in the Sydney Roosters side this season, Filomina Hanisi graduated from the NSW under 18s side that beat Queensland at North Sydney Oval last year in a curtain-raiser to the main game.

The 19-year-old teenager started in every game during the third NRLW season for the Roosters but will come off the bench for Andrew Patmore and look to make an instant impact.

A 91.8% tackle efficiency rate is among the best in the women's game.  

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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