STINGRAYS of Shellharbour pair Teagan Berry and Rhiannon Tungai have been named to make their New South Wales Blues debut, after being selected in Daniel Lacey's under 18s representative side.
The Group Seven duo, who helped Lacey's Illawarra Steelers breakthrough for a historic Tarsha Gale premiership in May, will face Queensland's under 18s girls side on Friday, June 21 - in a curtain-raiser for the women's State of Origin match.
It's been a whirlwind nine months for Berry, 17, who only started playing rugby league at last year's November Nines.
"After playing league tag and rugby union growing up, I tried my hand at rugby league at the November Nines, after my club coaches at Stingrays, John Simon and Clay Girdler, asked to me to play," Berry said.
"From there, I was invited to trial with the Steelers Tarsha Gale side - a side I was really happy to make.
"Then for us to go on to win the whole competition, was amazing and very exciting - it's something I'll remember for the rest of my life."
It was from these performances that the speedster was named in Lacey's NSW squad on the wing.
"It was really exciting to get the email notifying me that I'd been selected for NSW - it's something I wouldn't of even imagined this time last year," Berry said.
"Then [Daniel] Lacey called me to congratulate me and explain to me my role in the side, which is to back myself when I have the ball, take the line on and use my speed whenever I have the chance.
"Lacey has been a massive influence on my career to date - he really empowers us all to be the best players we can be and has helped me become the player I am today."
As excited as Berry is to pull on the sky blue jersey, she hopes this is just the first of many representatives jersey in her career.
"Playing for the Blues is something I'll cherish forever," she said.
"I know Queensland are going to be very physical, so it'll be up to us to match them on the day, which I know we are capable of.
"In the future, I'd love to play in the women's NRL and even represent NSW and the Jillaroos - but I know I have a lot of hard work ahead of me if those are to happen."
Berry and Tungai are joined in the squad for the first ever under 18s State of Origin match by Steelers team mates Mikayla Kidd, Tiana Graham, Eleni Amone, Olivia Vale and Maddison Weatherall, who will captain the side.
In preparation for the match, Lacey's side will train at the NSWRL Centre of Excellence when they come into camp on Tuesday, June 18.
NSW under 18s side: 1. Tess Staines, 2. Teagan Berry, 3. Jaime Chapman, 4. Mikayla Kidd, 5. Zali Fay, 6. Emily Curtain, 7. Tiana Graham, 8. Maddison Weatherall, 9. Rhiannon Tungai, 10. Filomina Hanisi, 11. Olivia Kernick, 12. Caitlan Johnston, 13. Mareva Swann, 14. Janaya Bent, 15. Eleni Amone, 16. Sophie Curtain, 17 Joeli Morris and 18. Olivia Vale.