Keeley Davis prepared to step up for Jillaroos on Friday night

On the move: Keeley Davis is looking forward to playing on home turf on Friday night. Picture: NRL Imagery/Grant Trouville
On the move: Keeley Davis is looking forward to playing on home turf on Friday night. Picture: NRL Imagery/Grant Trouville

Emerging Jillaroos star Keeley Davis has declared she is ready to step into the vacant hooker position for Friday night's Test match at WIN Stadium.

With incumbent Brittany Breayley forced to withdraw from the squad for both last weekend's Rugby League World Cup of Nines and this week's clash with the Kiwi Ferns due to work commitments, Davis is the leading contender to fill the role.

After playing hooker during the nines, the Corrimal product has spent the early days of this week training in the position and she is expected to don the No. 9 jumper on Friday night.

Davis and Breayley spent the NRLW season playing alongside each other for the St George Illawarra Dragons and the teenager said that has helped her prepare for this week's clash.

"One hundred per cent, I think I'll play well at hooker," Davis said.

"Playing there last weekend built a lot of confidence for me in that position, so I'm really looking forward to whatever position I play on the weekend.

"It's very disappointing that Brittany is not here, but I did take a lot out of the way she played. She's a great organiser of the forward pack and really leads them well and takes a lot of heat off the five-eighth and half.

"Taking that into my own game, I can really learn a lot from her in that aspect."

At just 19 years of age and having starred for both the Dragons and the Cougars in the Illawarra league, Davis is considered a future superstar of the sport.

The past fortnight has seen her share the training paddock with current superstars, including Ali Brigginshaw and Simaima Taufa.

This experience, she said, will only help her develop into a better footballer.

"It's awesome playing with Ali. I play a bit of half as well, so I've learnt so much from her in that position, but she's also teaching me so much just as a player in general. It's absolutely amazing playing with Ali.

"Every training session here I learn so much. It's really great being around here with Ali, Murph (former Jillaroos star and current assistant coach Karyn Murphy), and some of the more experienced girls like 'Maima (Simaima Taufa).

"Just every aspect of how they train and play, you can really take a lot out of it. It's awesome being around these girls."

Friday night will see the Jillaroos enter the match in an unfamiliar position, the side having lost to the Kiwi Ferns last week for the first time since 2016.

While the squad was left disappointed by their performance in the nines decider, Davis said there are plenty of positives to take in this week's game.

"I thought we played really great the whole tournament. It was a pretty unlucky result, it was just a couple of errors, but that's how nines goes.

"We're looking to keep building from there and really looking forward to ripping in as a team, get our completion rate up and we'll be awesome.

"That it's 80 minutes will really help us, I believe, so we're really looking forward to Friday night."

This story Keeley Davis prepared to step up for Jillaroos on Friday night first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.