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Maroons debutant named in women's Origin II squad

Rookie outside back China Polata looks set to make her Origin debut after the Maroons women's squad for Game Two at Queensland Country Bank Stadium was announced on Friday. 

Polata, who was 18th player for Origin I, will replace two-try hero Julia Robinson after she accepted a one-match ban for an elbow strike on Isabelle Kelly in the series opener at CommBank Stadium.

The Cowboys recruit, who represented Queensland's under 18s side in 2018, spoke to last month about her return to the game after more than 18 months on the sidelines following an ACL injury.

"It's a really good opportunity for China to step up and play at that level," Maroons coach Tahnee Norris said.

"She's played some outstanding football in the BMD Premiership this year. She's an extremely powerful player and strong individual. 

"She knows exactly what she needs to do. She's a similiar build to Julia Robinson so looking forward to her taking up the ball for us."

Norris has recalled veteran Tallisha Harden as 18th player and included young Titans playmaker Sienna Lofipo in an extended squad while Townsville product Romy Teitzel is set to start on the edge.

Teitzel's inclusion in the second row shifts Proserpine junior Shaniah Power to the bench alongside another Cowboys recruit in Emma Manzelmann.

The Maroons can reclaim the shield if they back up their opening game performance with another Origin victory for a 2-0 series scoreline, or if they are defeated by eight points or less following the points aggregate system in play.

Queensland's victory by eight points at CommBank Stadium in Origin I means if the Blues want to retain the shield they will need to defeat the Maroons by nine points or more in Townsville on June 22.

"It's been really good, you can get some coaching out of it and fix a few things that we missed in the first game and make a couple of subtle changes to our playing style," Norris said.

"I know everyone is talking about the points aggregate but I go back to the fact if we win the game the points are irrelevant. Obviously if we're down in the final minutes it's something we'll look at but we just want to win Game Two.

"They're smart footballers and know what they're doing. Ali Brigginshaw has been around a long time and can lead us around and make some good decisions when she needs to. They'll know how to handle it."

Queensland women's Origin II squad

  1. Tamika Upton (Newcastle Knights)
  2. China Polata (North Queensland Cowboys)
  3. Shenae Ciesiolka (Brisbane Broncos)
  4. Evania Pelite (Gold Coast Titans)
  5. Emily Bass (Gold Coast Titans)
  6. Tarryn Aiken (Sydney Roosters)
  7. Zahara Temara (Canberra Raiders)
  8. Shannon Mato (Gold Coast Titans)
  9. Destiny Brill (Brisbane Broncos)
  10. Keilee Joseph (Sydney Roosters)
  11. Tazmin Gray (Brisbane Broncos)
  12. Romy Teitzel (Brisbane Broncos)
  13. Ali Brigginshaw (c) (Brisbane Broncos)
  14. Emma Manzelmann (North Queensland Cowboys)
  15. Jessika Elliston (Gold Coast Titans)
  16. Sophie Holyman (Canberra Raiders)
  17. Shaniah Power (North Queensland Cowboys)
  18. Tallisha Harden (North Queensland Cowboys)
  19. Sienna Lofipo (Gold Coast Titans)
Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour 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.