Southwell eyes NSW debut in women's Origin opener

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Teenage Newcastle playmaker Jesse Southwell is in line to make her State of Origin debut for NSW next month after being named in Kylie Hilder's Sky Blues squad.

Southwell, who guided Newcastle to a maiden NRLW premiership last season, only turned 18 in February and is one of six newcomers in the 20-player NSW list.

Hilder's squad, which will be trimmed come the women's Origin series opener on June 1, contains 11 players that featured in the Jillaroos' successful World Cup campaign.

Dynamic forward Kennedy Cherrington, who was overlooked for Origin selection last year, returns to the fold.

Millie Boyle, who missed the World Cup due to work commitments, is named but a glaring omission is five-eighth Kirra Dibb, who recently signed with the North Queensland Cowboys.

In an indication of how rapidly the women's game is evolving, only Isabelle Kelly and Kezie Apps remain in the squad from the first Origin game in 2018.

This year's series will be played across two games for the first time, with the opener at Parramatta's Commbank Stadium on June 1 before Origin II in Townsville on June 22. 

"This is a very strong squad filled with plenty of Origin experience and also a number of Jillaroos from the World Cup-winning Australia team last November," Hilder said in a statement.

"I've said from the very beginning that 2023 is a clean slate.

"What we achieved in 2022 - however good that was - is now in the past.

"We are going out there to win not just one game but both Origin games.

"We won't settle for anything less than a 2-0 series result."

NSW Sky Blues squad: Brooke Anderson*, Kezie Apps, Shaylee Bent, Teagan Berry*, Millie Boyle, Jaime Chapman*, Kennedy Cherrington, Yasmin Clydsdale, Keeley Davis, Quincy Dodd, Taliah Fuimaono*, Ellie Johnston*, Isabelle Kelly, Olivia Kernick, Rachael Pearson, Tiana Penitatni, Jess Sergis, Jesse Southwell*, Sarah Togatuki, Emma Tonegato.

*Denotes potential debutant.