NSW skipper Kezie Apps given all clear for Women’s State of Origin clash against Queensland

New South Wales captain Kezie Apps has been cleared to make her return to the field in Friday night’s Women’s State of Origin clash against Queensland.

The St George Illawarra second rower has overcome a medial cruciate ligament injury in her right knee, which she sustained during the NRLW season last month.

Apps will lead the Blues at Sunshine Coast Stadium, with centre Isabelle Kelly also named after recovering from an ankle injury.

Kelly, a teammate of Apps at the Dragons, won the inaugural Nellie Doherty Medal for player of the match in the first Women’s State of Origin match in 2018.

The pair are welcome inclusions for the Blues, who have claimed the past two Women’s State of Origin victories at North Sydney Oval.

Dally M medallist and Brisbane Broncos captain Ali Brigginshaw has been named at lock for the Maroons, with Tarryn Aiken and Zahara Temara to start in the halves.

They join a new-look Queensland backline, which includes Broncos premiership winners Tamika Upton, Julia Robinson, Shenae Ciesiolka and Lauren Brown.

This year’s clash will be the first Women’s State of Origin match played in Queensland.

Interstate matches were played in Queensland and New South Wales before the fixture was officially branded as the Women’s State of Origin in 2018.

The fixture was to be played in June on the Sunshine Coast, but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Blues won the first Women’s State of Origin 16-10 in 2018 and backed up the victory last year by triumphing 14-4.

AAP/ABC