SQUASH PLAYER: Claire McKean made the state team. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
SQUASH PLAYER: Claire McKean made the state team. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott

Claire McKean swaps state allegiances

GROWING up in Grafton, New South Wales, it's hard to imagine Claire McKean would have ever thought she would support Queensland in State Of Origin, let alone represent her rivals from across the Tweed River in any sport.

A few years ago after a horror run of losses for the Blues Claire made the right decision to support Mal Meninga's men and now she gets to swap a blue uniform for maroon.

After moving to Bundaberg the talented North State High student will wear Queensland colours when she plays for her new state at the annual tri-series against New South Wales and New Zealand in Thornhill in August.

After the state titles in Brisbane, which she won all eight matches in three sets without losing a game, Claire was picked as Queensland's number one player for the Under-19 girl's team and used her ability to read opponents weaknesses to gain selection.

Claire will be hoping the tournament goes better than when she played New Zealand for the first time.

Representing New South Wales in 2013 (U15) Claire travelled across the ditch to take on the Kiwis - who play squash like the play rugby, tough - and she suffered a shoulder injury that kept her off the court for 18 months.

On arriving in Bundaberg Claire thought she would give squash another try and now she is back in the swing of things.

Whether it's the healing properties of the Queensland sunshine, or the magic quality of Bundaberg water, she doesn't know but is enjoying her squash more than ever.



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