Gladstone's Baker eager to pull on Maroon's jersey again
RUGBY LEAGUE: Winger Chelsea Baker says it's redemption time against New South Wales in tomorrow's Women's State of Origin at North Sydney Oval at 7.45pm.
Gladstone Wallaby Baker and her Harvey Norman Queensland Maroon teammates, including Lavina Gould who was added as the 19th player, completed a training camp.
Baker and Ellie Stitt are the only two Central Queensland players in the team and the woman they call "Boney" said she offered Stitt some sound advice.
"She's a little bit nervous, but I'll be in with her for the entire time and I just encourage her to take it all in and have as much fun as you can," Baker said.
"Come Friday we'll be going to battle together."
The Blues beat Queensland 16-10 in the first-ever Women's State of Origin clash in Sydney last year.
This year there are 15 players who will make their Origin debut for both states.
Baker said it's a reflection of how the sport has grown among women.
"There's fresh faces and there's some of the girls that just sort of popped up during the NRLW last year," she said.
"To have 15 debutantes for this game is something insane, but I love it and I think it's fantastic for the game.
"It just proves that no spots are given, you have to earn it and having those 15 debutantes just proves that."
Baker said she was excited to have Jenni-Sue Hoepper back in the team.
"We got her back after she had a baby two years ago and that's really exciting for us and I love playing off her," she said.
Maroons coach Jason Hetherington appointed Jillaroos and Brisbane Broncos' halfback Ali Brigginshaw as captain of the side.
Hetherington told QRL.com it was a hard decision to replace Karina Brown with Brigginshaw.
"I came in last year and took on the Queensland side and didn't make a great deal of change because I was quite inexperienced," he said.
"Browny was disappointed and that's only natural. I wouldn't expect anything less. She did a wonderful job but I thought we needed to move in a different direction."