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Sky Blues co-captains celebrate Origin milestone

The Labrador and the Pug … otherwise known as Westpac NSW Sky Blues co-captains Kezie Apps and Isabelle Kelly.

Both players celebrate their 10th Origin game tomorrow night in the 2024 Ampol Women’s State of Origin Game Three decider at Townsville’s Country Bank Stadium.

They actually have 27 games between them since Apps made her NSW debut in 2014 and Kelly in 2015 before the women’s Interstate Challenge was re-branded in 2018 as State of Origin.

They are now the two highest-capped players for their state and have a genuine affection for each other right down to being likened to dog breeds characterised by their loyalty and charm.

“I call her the Labrador because she’s just like that dog who is so friendly. She’s not a dog but she’s one of the most friendliest humans,” Kelly said today at the Sky Blues Captain’s Run.

“But every time she steps on that pitch, in the jersey that she wears, she bleeds for it.

“She’s the epitome of a Blues (player) so I love that about Kez.”

Apps then had the right of reply.

“You’re a Pug – look, no, Iss also epitomises this jersey. You know you will get the best out of her,” Apps said.

“She’s so competitive. With everything she does she always leads from the front and I absolutely love that about her.

“She can definitely be a game changer. No matter what she does, she does everything at 100 per cent.

“Especially her back-of-field carries … she gets us out of trouble; gets us on the front foot; and is so aggressive in defence.

“I love playing with her.”

Kelly earned her first NSW jersey the year after Apps.

“I came into the squad with Kezie being one of those people, who is very humble and grateful to be here.

“She is someone who is reassuring and she’s a beautiful, kind, human being.”

Westpac NSW Sky Blues coach Kylie Hilder has also been an Origin teammate – in 2019 and 2020.

“It’s really special,” said of both her captains hitting the 10-game milestone together.

“I’ve been lucky enough to play with both of them in this jersey – they are both great leaders and the other girls look up to them.

“They are leaders that don’t just stand up and speak, they follow-up in their actions as well.”

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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