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How rookie Cherrington takes leaf out of Luai's confidence book

If you ever wondered where boom rookie Kennedy Cherrington gets her daily dose of confidence from, you need to look no further than Panthers five-eighth Jarome Luai.

Cherrington, who was crowned Rebel's Rookie of the Year for the NRLW this season, grew up a neighbourhood's distance away from Luai in Sydney's west.

The pair played touch football at a representative level during their teenage years but fast forward to 2020 and each player will be playing in the biggest game of their lives on Sunday.

"Romey was in the boys team and I was in the girls team so we've grown up and have known each other playing touch footy since 2012," Cherrington told NRL.com.

"We played a touch footy comp and have stayed in touch ever since so there's a cool little connection there.

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"If you know 'Romey' now he's very cheeky, there's that energy and he's got good feet so can stir you up and then run away from you real quick.

"That's the type of person he is, but also really humble and a genuine guy, one of the best I know.

"We're both pumped for the weekend, saying to each other 'c'mon!' – we're hoping for a couple of premiership rings. I've just always wanted to play in a NRL grand final.

"I saw the [premiership] rings on the news the other night and they're red and have got some first responders symbols on them. I thought they were awesome.

"It should be a good weekend, I can't wait and hopefully once the bubble is all done we can catch up with all the family out west."

Cherrington's opening three performances since making her NRLW debut earlier in the month have been nothing short of incredible.

After moving from Perth to Sydney for the competition when the COVID-19 pandemic put a hold on her rugby union commitments, the 21-year-old has made rugby league her own.

And she's not afraid to let everyone know about it.

"When I played my first game I didn't care about coming off the bench because Feeney said the bench role was just as important, so that's when I thought it's my time to shine, baby," Cherrington said.

"[The confidence] definitely comes from my family and the competition between my siblings and me.

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"I'm the oldest of five so that competitiveness has always been there on the field no matter what sport I play. I'm just doing what I love."

As part of Cherrington's rookie award, the Roosters forward collects a cool $5000 cash and will be put through a Rebel mentoring program while becoming an ambassador for the company next season.

Previous winners of the award include Jessica Sergis and Millie Boyle.

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Cherrington said she will look at Boyle, who juggles her own rugby union and league commitments, before making a decision on next season.

"I wasn't expecting anything out of this experience, just looking to play my best footy so I'm pretty stoked," she said.

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"It goes to show that hard work can pay off. Coming from Perth it was a bit of a grind and with COVID and just the environment I was in. I love rugby union but I didn't feel like it was appreciated.

"Here I've just been given a crack and the game plays a bit more to my structure."

As for what the rookie will do with the cash, she said she'll put it towards her savings.

"Or I'll share it with my family," she laughed.

"But out of everything I was just gutted I couldn't go to the Dally Ms. I didn't care about the money."

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