Stellar Season Puts Rachael Pearson As Part Of Sky Blues Origin

The emergence of St George Illawarra Dragons half-back Rachael Pearson is one of the highlights of Harvey Norman NSW Sky Blues coach Kylie Hilder’s new State of Origin women’s team.

While there is a healthy presence from Team NSW 2021 (15) in the 24-man squad named this week, there are eight new faces plus a familiar in back rower Shaylee Bent, who was part of the Origin 2020 training. after being a reservist in 2019.

The team has representatives from five of the six NRLW teams: 12 St George Illawarra Dragons, seven Sydney Roosters, three Parramatta Eels, one Brisbane Bronco and one Newcastle Knight.

Pearson’s first NRLW season with the Dragons contained some gems – an average of 170 yards kicking per game and a 95% tackle efficiency rate, in addition to obvious passing and trying skills.

“She really comes out of nowhere,” Hilder told nswrl.com.au.

“She played for the Helensburgh Tigers last year and caught my eye… just her control of the game in addition to her kicking has been exceptional in the NRLW this year.

“Obviously you really need that kind of control in an Origin match.”





While Pearson is in her late 20s, Hilder brought in three rising stars in Olivia Kernick, who played in all seven NRLW games this year for the Roosters and scored three tries; plus Dragons center Jaime Chapman and winger Teagan Berry.

Kernick played for the Maori All-Stars in February, while Chapman scored a brace for the Aboriginal team.

“We have youngsters coming in like Olivia Kernick, who played with the Under-18s (NSW) in 2019 and she’s now developing into a really good back rower,” Hilder said.

“Jaime Chapman, who was captain, and Teagan Berry were both on the winning Under-19 team for us last year.

“So these three passages are really positive and show that NSWRL’s ways are working.”

Hilder is also very proud that co-medallists Dally M for 2021, prop Millie Boyle and full-back Emma Tonegato, are part of her NSW Origin squad.

“Emma had a stellar year winning the RLPA Players’ Champion award and the Dragons’ Player of the Year, while another of our backs, Isabelle Kelly, won the ‘Player of the Year’. year” of the Roosters,” she said.

“I would also like to point out that fullback Botille Vette-Welsh (Eels) and winger Brydie Parker (Roosters) would have made the 24-man squad had it not been for their season-ending knee injuries.”

The squad will now be reduced to 20 players after the City-Country women’s match on May 14, with Hilder stressing that players can still push their selection claims from the representative match.

Game 5 of the Ampol Women’s State of Origin will take place on Friday June 24 at the GIO Stadium in Canberra.

Click here to buy tickets for the Ampol Women’s State of Origin game.

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