Keeley eager to kick on in new position

Margie McDonald

A change of position, a little more weight on the frame, and a lot more experience under the belt is giving Keeley Davis a fresh start to her fourth Origin campaign for the Westpac NSW Sky Blues.

The incumbent No.9 in coach Kylie Hilder’s line-up over the past few years, Davis is moving to No.13 for Game One in 2024 to be played at Suncorp Stadium next Thursday (16 May).

“I’ve played a fair bit of lock and five-eighth in my time,” Davis told

“In NRLW sometimes I make that switch from hooker to lock during the game,” said the Sydney Roosters and former St George Illawarra hooker.

“It’s definitely a different role, but since I played a fair bit of five-eighth growing up I love the opportunity to get the ball a bit wider of the ruck.

“I’m really excited about it and I’ve had time to adjust because Kylie spoke to me really early about wanting me to make the switch and add a different dynamic in the team.”

With her increased responsibilities comes a slight change in weight – moving from 68kg up to 70kg.

“I fluctuate a bit in weight anyway but only by a kilo or two. I thought a but more bulk might help in the middle.

“I want to keep my fitness and energy at a peak so I’m not wanting to put on too much because I see those as strengths of mine.

“I think I can handle the contact well if I’m slightly heavier.”

Now she’s also working hard on communication with her fellow middle forwards, props Millie Elliott and Caitlan Johnston, and the new No.9 for NSW – Newcastle Knights Olivia Higgins.

“I organise a lot of the middle now and do more with the spine of (halfback) Rachael (Pearson), Corbs (five-eighth Corban Baxter) and (fullback) Emma (Tonegato).

“A fair bit of my job is to help with the middles and getting them in the right spot.

“But I’ve never played with Liv (Higgins) before - this will be our first game.

“We’ve had the seven weeks together in Pathways squad training and it definitely helps that Liv has played a fair bit of lock as well, and I’ve obviously played a lot of hooker.

“We’ll be fine working out what each other wants to do. It’s something we’re already building on.”

And now the women’s State of Origin has morphed into a three-game series for the first time.

Game Two will be at Newcastle’s McDonald-Jones Stadium on 6 June and Game Three at Townsville’s Queensland Country Bank Stadium on 27 June.

“We are so ready. It’s been a long time coming … just looking forward to Game One at the moment but as a team we’re definitely excited to have three games,” Davis said.

“It’s great that it’s finally here.”