Southwell Switched To Halfback For NSW In Origin II

Knights prodigy Jesse Southwell will switch to halfback for NSW in the Women’s State of Origin decider.

The 18-year-old made her debut for the Sky Blues at five-eighth in the series opener earlier this month when NSW went down 18 – 10 in a scrappy game against Queensland.

Coach Kylie Hilder has made four changes to the side in the lead up to the second and final match to be played in Townsville on June 22.

Southwell will replace Rachael Pearson in the number 7 jersey, slotting in to the role she excelled in at a club level in Newcastle’s NRLW premiership run last season.

Taliah Fuimanono will complete the new halves pairing for NSW, while winger Tiana Penitani (hamstring) and middle forward Simaima Taufa (shoulder) will come into the side after recovering from injuries.

Centre Isabelle Kelly, who suffered a nasty throat injury in Game 1, has been named with Hilder set to give her every chance to prove her fitness to take her place on the Sky Blues’ left edge.

NSW will assemble at the Centre of Excellence in Sydney this week for a team meeting, training session, recovery and lunch.

The squad will then fly to Townsville ahead of Game 2 against the Maroons.