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Playing for QLD is 'bloody unreal'

"If the heart is there, nothing is going to stop you."

With those 11 words, 20-year-old rookie Mariah Storch summed up what it means to pull on a Queensland jersey for the first time.

The fact her debut in maroon will be Friday night's historic inaugural Harvey Norman Women's State of Origin clash with the Blues just makes it all the more emotional.

"Playing for you state is bloody unreal," the third-year apprentice diesel mechanic told QRL Media during the team's visit to Dreamworld on the weekend.

Storch could be excused for thinking she is actually living in a dream world, following a string of failed efforts to make it into the state side.

She still has designs to play for Australia's world champion Jillaroos, but says her first maroon jumper will take pride of place for now.

"I still aspire to play for the Jillaroos, but there is something so damn special about representing Queensland, it's what all kids want to do growing up," she said.

Storch was born in country Barcaldine but moved to Blackwater in central Queensland because their parents both had jobs in the mines.

She went to school in Blackwater and, after completing year 12, jagged an apprenticeship as a diesel mechanic.

It was while she was in her first year that a guy named Jay Denman asked her to play rugby league for the newly formed Blackwater Crushettes.

"That guy" as she calls him, is now her partner.

Storch took to league like a duck to water and was Blackwater's Player of The Year in 2016.

"Jay was the guy who started up the Crusher's women's team," she said.

"He got a bunch of us girls together and said: 'Hey, do you girls want to have a go at this'.

"None is us had much idea. He taught us how to tackle, taught us how to pass and stuff.

"I had some basic skills from school, but I'd never played rugby league because there was never an opportunity to play it."

Storch's progression took her to the CQ Capras in 2015 under the coaching of former Queensland Origin winger Alan McIndoe who played nine games against NSW between 1988-90.

After a couple of representative disappointments, her perseverance was finally rewarded when another former Queensland player, Adrian Vowels, shocked her with a 'wildcard' into the Emerging Queensland women's side - the big break she had been waiting for.

To her credit, Storch used the disappointment and pain of missing out on representative sides in preceding years to improve her game to the point where she finally got a call up.

"I feel this (being called into the Queensland side) is the pinnacle of your career," said Storch.

Her battle for recognition has earned her a spot on the NRL's elite 40 women's contract list.

A strong game against Blues at North Sydney Oval would put her in the frame to score an offer from one the inaugural four clubs who'll kick off the NRLW competition, scheduled for the back-end of the NRL season.

"The scouts will be there. This is an opportunity for all of us the catch their eye," she said.

Storch admitted to being highly competitive in everything she does.

"It doesn't matter what I do. My twin sister use to hate how I always had to win," she said

"When we used to run cross country, I had to beat her no matter what. I just had to win."

Even at the labor ward Mariah had be first, delivered two minutes ahead of Peyton.

Despite her relatively small stature, Storch is a multi-position player who can fill any position on the field, except front-row, but she would even give that a go if her coach, former Queensland hooker Jason Hetherington, put it on her.

"I started out playing in the halves with Alan McIndoe, then I played lock and had some time playing in the backs and forwards, it didn't matter as long as I was on the field," she said.

She had been playing lock recently but in this month's national titles she showed off her versatility with cameo appearances at hooker, five-eighth, second-row, lock and in the centres.

What is the lure for Storch who could have chosen any one of a number of sports to pursue?

"I love the contact, I enjoy getting knocked down and getting back up and getting knocked down again, it is such an adrenalin rush," she said.

Allan Langer was one of her favourite players to watch but she really enjoyed how Brisbane's former champion playmaker Darren Lockyer led his team.

"Darren was one player I looked up," to she said.

"He was an unreal player, so tough for a smaller man and he was an exceptional leader."

Even though she is still very young, Storch has aspirations to one day captain her state and country.

"I do, one day, if ever I get there," she smiled.

"I like to lead on the field with my talking and to help my teammates.

"If we don't have 13 of us playing for each other, then we have nothing."