PLENTY of people told NSW star Kezie Apps that she wouldn’t make it back in time for Sunday’s Interstate Challenge clash with Queensland.
After feeling her leg break whilst playing for the Jillaroos at February’s Auckland Nines, the thought crossed her mind as well.
However, Blues coach Ben Cross – who’s previously labeled the hard as nails back-rower the toughest player in rugby league – never doubted she’s make onto WIN Stadium this weekend.
“I never had any doubts at all,” Cross said.
“I’ve been down to her [Bega] farm and seen the driveway she was running up every day to get nice and strong and fit.
“I knew how much passion she had for the Blues jersey and the inspiration she brings to the team.
“She was always going to come back for it. I’d have probably strapped her up myself and put her out there anyway but she was always going to be right.”
Apps’ inclusion is a big boost to the Blues hopes of retaining the Nellie Doherty Cup and Cross couldn’t fault his side’s preparation.
“It’s been a bit of a longer preparation this time and we had an extra camp the NRL put on for us down here [in Wollongong] two weeks ago so it’s been really good,” Cross said.
“We’ve got a good group of girls now who’ve been together two years, the majority of them, and they know each others’ games inside out and the intricacies of playing with each other.
“The girls we have brought in, the rookies, they play with a lot of these girls at club level so they’re not unfamiliar with how we work.