AAP Rugby

Wiser Studdon to skipper NSW her way

By AAP Newswire

Sometimes the biggest rewards follow the toughest hurdles.

It's certainly the case for Maddie Studdon, the playmaker who endured the devastation of missing out on a World Cup starting spot for last year's triumphant Jillaroos.

Six months later the 23-year-old will not only start in the inaugural Women's State of Origin, she will captain NSW in the absence of injured veteran Ruan Sims.

If there's one thing Studdon's learned from experience it's that disappointment can be a motivator.

"You go through ups and downs in your sporting career and the World Cup was an up-and-down situation for myself," she told AAP.

"But I'm very grateful I was a part of that World Cup victory in Brisbane.

"I learnt a lot and came out this year concentrating on my game and the feedback I got from all the coaches.

"I probably wouldn't be where I am today if I didn't go through that tough time."

When Blues coach Ben Cross named Studdon captain and run-on halfback - Caitlin Moran is also out with a ruptured ACL - the first thing she did was ring Sims to glean some wisdom.

She hung up feeling content with her own leadership style ahead of Friday night's clash at North Sydney Oval, when NSW will aim for three-straight wins over the previously dominant Queensland.

"She gave me some tips. She's a really good leader and I really look up to her," Studdon said.

"She just said 'do your own thing', that everyone has a different way of captaining and I can't copy what she does.

"She told me to do what I'm comfortable with and that I'd be strong and lead the team the best way I can."

Much to Studdon's relief, that doesn't necessarily mean through constant pep talks.

By her own reckoning she isn't the most vocal off the field, preferring to save her voice for the throes of battle.

"I'm not a big talker. I'm one of the youngest girls in there but they really show respect for me," she said.

"I do it my way, I'm nice and chilled and relaxed but out on the field I'm a halfback so I'm always talking and they're always listening."