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Whirlwind 2022 Continues for New Blue Kernick

There are few players who can boast a first-season résumé like Olivia Kernick, and now the back rower is about to make her next big step into the State of Origin arena.

While it may only be halfway through the year, Kernick has achieved as much as there could be done for a rookie in the Rugby League calendar thus far.

NSWRL: Kernick Proud of Growth in Women's Game

She's represented her heritage, made her NRLW debut, taken out the Club's Rookie of the Year gong and has hoisted the Premiership trophy. 

Not bad for a 21-year-old.

Following her strong form, the Māori and Indigenous All Star is about to enter her next representative side after being called up into Kylie Hilders' NSW Sky Blues camp. 

“When I heard the news I was actually on my way to a Roosters holiday clinic with Jocelyn Kelleher,” Kernick explained.

“Kylie rang to tell me I had made the wider squad – I was just stoked to be part of that.

“I got to training last Tuesday before we got into camp and she said I would be in the starting seventeen. I actually laughed in her face because I didn’t really believe it.

“Issy has been a big help. She’s helped me in training and obviously, she knows what I’m capable of in my game.

Olivia Kernick On Isabelle Kelly's guidance in Origin camp

“Jocelyn was so happy for me. We’ve been really good friends for years so it was really nice to see how proud she was of me.

“I called my brother. He’s one of my biggest supporters so it was really nice to hear him say congratulations. Then I told mum and dad and it was special to hear how proud they are of me and see the hard work pay off.”

One big boost in her meteoric rise is the inclusion of a number of her NRLW teammates, including the likes of Captain Corban Baxter, superstar centres Isabelle Kelly and Jessica Sergis as well as hard-hitting Karyn Murphy Medallist Sarah Togatuki in the Blues' squad. 

Kernick believes that the strong camaraderie - not only between the Tricolours' contingent - has given their preparation an added continuity and flow ahead of Friday night's blockbuster.

“Camp is going really well at the moment,” she said. 

“We’re gelling really well and it helps so much that everybody gets along with each other. There’s no real outspoken personality or anything like that.

“Issy has been a big help. She’s helped me in training and obviously, she knows what I’m capable of in my game. She’s been there for me when I get a little stressed out or I feel like I'm struggling with what I'm doing.

“Sala (Togatuki) has also told me about how fast the game is in Origin. But they’re all there for me to help ease the nerves a little bit. It’s really helped to have them all there.

“We’re all genuine mates and if you have a really good connection on the field that will translate that on the field.

Olivia Kernick Continues Her Tryscoring Run

“We’ve been executing our plays and we’ve had an opposed session against the Canberra Jersey Flegg side and that went really well.

“I’m keen to see how that translates on Friday night.”

As for Friday night's clash in Canberra, Kernick says that while strong preparation and the aid of her teammates have her primed for her first outing in the sky blue, the rest lays on her own two shoulders as she looks to lock horns with Queensland's best. 

“I actually don’t know what to expect,” Kernick admitted.

“I think I can prepare as much as I can but Origin is a completely different game. I have to make sure I get that preparation right and hope for the best.

“I can look into the other team as much as I can but I need to back myself and have the confidence in my team that we’ll pull through with the win.”

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters 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.

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