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Indigenous stars named in Sky Blues Origin setup ahead of blockbuster series opener at Suncorp

Jarred Cross -

Former Indigenous All Star captain Caitlin Johnston and Māori All Star Corban Baxter are among the headline reintroductions to Kylie Hilder’s NSW team named on Wednesday ahead of State of Origin game one in Brisbane next Thursday. 

Johnston earned her recall after missing last year’s series with injury following her stellar debut for the state in 2022 which earned her the inaugural Sky Blues award, a teammate-voted honour at NSWRL’s medals night that year. 

The 23-year-old is coming off her second NRLW premiership with Newcastle last year, and was announced as a huge signing for Cronulla for the 2025 season. 

Johnston returns to the Origin arena after missing last year's series with injury. (Image: AAP)

Baxter slots into five eighth for her first origin series since 2019 for the ousted Jesse Southwell. 

Jaime Chapman returns for her second series after debuting in 2023 on the wing, with Taliah Fuimaono and Olivia Kernick earning spots on the interchange. 

North Queensland and Indigenous All Stars half Kira Dibb has been named in the extended squad ahead of the Sky Blues ahead of entering camp after last year’s shock series defeat on points to Queensland. 

The Maroons named their side on Friday, featuring Dally M medallist Tamika Upton and Keilee Joseph.

Both sides will be looking to post an early lead in the first three game series contesting the women's shield when they kick off as an NRL Magic Round curtain-raiser at Suncorp Stadium on May 16.

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