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Toovey's 'passion and aggression' has Sky Blues buzzing

Captain Kezie Apps says the influence of assistant coach Geoff Toovey in camp this week had been enormous as NSW look to reclaim the State of Origin shield in enemy territory.

The Sky Blues finalised preparations on Thursday morning at Sunshine Coast Stadium, where a near sell-out crowd is expected for the prime-time showdown against their arch-rivals on Friday night.

Apps said the squad were buzzing following an injury-free preparation compared to last year's disrupted campaign which ended with their first defeat against the Maroons since 2014.

Toovey, who played 15 Origins and captained the Blues to a series victory in 1997, was announced as an assistant coach to Kylie Hilder in February.

Apps said the former Manly coach had instilled plenty of belief in the Sky Blues this week.

"I love him, he's so great," Apps said.

Maroons v Sky Blues

"He'll be sitting down and listening to everyone and then if he wants to talk he'll stand up and say 'alright girls, this is what we've got to do' and he's into us. Then he sits back down again.

He's been amazing with the girls, just what he's been teaching us, the little things.

"He brings a lot of passion and aggression. I think he loves it more because we actually listen to him and take in what he's saying and react to that."

Toovey's input has also rubbed off on Hilder, who will square off with Queensland counterpart Tahnee Norris for the first time.

"Because Kylie was part of the squad [as a player last year], she's still hurting from the loss," Apps said.

"Her knowledge of the game is unbelievable and what she brings out of the girls is something different.

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She knows how to motivate everybody.

"We're all really good friends and we don't want to let her down."

Apps said the side were prepared for "any scenario" with a 70 per cent chance of rain predicted on Friday night.

Last November's clash at the same venue was played gusty and rainy conditions so Apps is ready for whatever is thrown at her team.

"A bit of rain won't hurt us, it won't change what we're going to do," Apps said.

"We just need to make sure we control the ball a bit more. It might be a bit slipperier so we've got to make sure our ball control is right on."

Maroons leader Ali Brigginshaw remains the key for the Sky Blues to shut down, according to her opposing captain.

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"State of Origin brings the next level out of everybody," Apps said.

"If we can try and shut down Ali and their halves then hopefully we can try and control the game. Last year we let her do her thing and she's an amazing player.

"This year is a totally different feel."

NSW fullback Botille Vette-Welsh (leg) and Millie Boyle (concussion) trained on Thursday and are expected to play.

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