Here we are, Representative Round: a festival of rugby league from junior Origin matches to Test matches to State of Origin Game II. It is literally all happening this weekend.
Which states and nations will come out on top over the weekend?
Thursday, June 23
New South Wales Blues U19s Women vs. Queensland Maroons U19s Women, Leichhardt Oval, 5:45pm (AEST)
New South Wales: 1. Jada Taylo, 2. Petera Lio, 3. Andie Robinson, 4. Mia Middleton, 5. Cassey Tohi-Hiku, 6. Losana Lutu, 7. Tayla Montgomery, 8. Monalisa Soliola, 9. Rueben Cherrington, 10. Ruby-Jean Kennard, 11. Leilani Wilson, 12. Chantel Tugaga, 13. Iesha Duckett. Bench: 14. Anneka Wilson, 15. Tiana Kore, 16. Tahleisha Maeva, 17. Jules Kirkpatrick. Reserves: 18. Rosemarie Beckett, 19. Chloe Jackson, 20. Alanna Dummett, 21. Salma Nour, 22. Milly Lupo
Queensland: 1. Chantay Kiria-Ratu, 2. Jetaya Faifua, 3. Jasmine Peters, 4. Emmanita Paki, 5. Helen Uitualagi, 6. Jada Ferguson, 7. Jayde Herdegen, 8. April Ngatupuna, 9. Lily-Rose Kolc, 10. Fiona Jahnke, 11. Otesa Pule, 12. Hannah Larson, 13. Georgina Tuitaalili. Bench: 14. Montana Mook, 15. Lavinia Kitai, 16. Felila Kia, 17. Jacinta Carter. Reserves: 18. Ellie Williamson, 19. Sunny Gerrard, 20. Tahlia Marshall, 21. Lillian Yarrow, 22. Atlanta Peters
Verdict: The future of the expanded NRLW is on show here, with the best under-19 talent from New South Wales and Queensland set to give their all for Origin glory. If we see anywhere near the amount of passion and skill shown by the top-level Origin women then we are in for a treat with this clash.
Tip: Queensland by 6
New South Wales Blues U19s Men vs. Queensland Maroons U19s Men, Leichhardt Oval, 7:45pm (AEST)
New South Wales: 1. Terrell Kalo Kalo, 2. Utuloa Asomua, 3. Paul Alamoti, 4. Brad Morkos, 5. Jack Bostock, 6. Thomas Weaver, 7. Jonah Pezet, 8. Max Bradbury, 9. Tyler Moriarty, 10. Justin Matamua, 11. Oryn Keeley, 12. Brandon Tumeth, 13. Trey Mooney. Bench: 14. Jack Cole, 15. Toby Couchman, 16. Larry Muagututia, 17. Jacob Webster. Reserves: 18. Charlie Thompson, 19. Oskar Bryant, 20. Samuela Fainu, 21. Jaylan De Groot
Queensland: 1. Isaiah Iongi, 2. Jacob Mene, 3. Sosefo Fifita, 4. Robert Toia, 5. Xavier Chatfield-Mooka, 6. Harradyn Wilson, 7. Thomas Duffy, 8. Xavier Va'a, 9. Blake Mozer, 10. Paul Bryan, 11. Edward Hampson, 12. Jack Howarth, 13. Luke Jack. Bench: 14. Jye Gray, 15. Benjamin Te Kura, 16. Josiah Pahulu, 17. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki. Reserves: 18. Ragarive Wavik, 19. Tane Kiriona, 20. Kaleb Ngamanu, 21. Shaun Packer, 22. Angus Hinchey
Verdict: Rugby league boss Peter V'Landys had a great vision for this game, allowing both sides to pick up to four 20-year-olds each, including some of the NRL's finest young talent. Unfortunately the first-grade coaches weren't willing to release their stars for an under -19s Origin clash. It just means that instead of seeing Sam Walker in the Queensland No.7 jersey, we get to enjoy the skills of Thomas Duffy instead. There will no doubt be some raw talent on display for both states, as these players look to further their careers with a dream of one day playing on the big Origin stage.
Tip: Blues by 10
Friday, June 24
New South Wales Blues Women vs. Queensland Maroons Women, GIO Stadium, Canberra 8:10pm (AEST)
New South Wales: 1. Emma Tonegato, 2. Yasmin Clydsdale, 3. Jess Sergis, 4. Isabelle Kelly, 5. Tiana Penitani, 6. Kirra Dibb, 7. Rachael Pearson, 8. Simaima Taufa, 9. Keeley Davis, 10. Millie Boyle, 11. Kezie Apps, 12. Shaylee Bent, 13. Hannah Southwell. Bench: 14. Quincy Dodd, 15. Sarah Togatuki, 16. Caitlan Johnston, 17. Olivia Kernick. Reserves: 18. Sam Bremner, 19. Teagan Berry, 20. Filomina Hanisi, 21. Talei Holmes, 22. Corban Baxter
Queensland: 1. Tamika Upton, 2. Emily Bass, 3. Evania Pelite, 4. Shenae Ciesiolka, 5. Julia Robinson, 6. Tarryn Aiken, 7. Ali Brigginshaw, 8. Chelsea Lenarduzzi, 9. Brittany Breayley-Nati, 10. Shannon Mato, 11. Tallisha Harden, 12. Tazmin Gray, 13. Destiny Brill. Bench: 14. Lauren Brown, 15. Jessika Elliston, 16. Steph Hancock, 17. Tiana Raftstrand-Smith. Reserves: 18. Zahara Temara, 19. Karina Brown, 20. Romy Teitzel, 21. Keilee Joseph, 22. Sara Sautia
Verdict: If last year's clash is anything to go by, we are set for an exciting and passionate clash. This game holds greater significance than previous years as next year we'll have a two-game series and if it's locked at a win a piece, ten the trophy holder (the winner of this game) will retain the title. The Blues will be keen to reverse last year's outcome, and with plenty of players from the premiership winning Dragons, they are looking strong, but Briongginshaw's team will be tough to beat.
Tip: Maroons by 4
Saturday, June 25
Kiwi Ferns vs. Mate Ma'a Tonga Women, Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, 1:10pm (AEST)
Kiwi Ferns: 1. Autumn-Rain Stephens-Daly 2. Madison Bartlett 3. Page McGregor 4. Amy Turner 5. Katelyn Vaha'akolo 6. Laishon Jones 7. Raecene McGregor 8. Annetta Nuuausala 9. Krystal Rota 10. Mya Hill-Moana 11. Roxy Murdoch 12. Ngatokotoru Arakua 13. Georgia Hale 14. Nita Maynard 15. Charlotte Scanlan 16. Kararaina Wira-Kohu 17. Christyl Stowers 18. Karli Hansen 19. Hailee-Jay Maunsell
Mate Ma'a Tonga Women squad: 1. Lavinia Tauhalaliku 2. Pier Pritchard 3. Haylee Hifo 4. Maatuleio Fotu-Moala 5. Luisa Sekona 6. China Polata 7. Keisharn Hala 8. Tegan Dymock 9. Shirley Mailangi 10. Natasha Penitani 11. Kimberly Nikua 12. Shannon Muru 13. Katrina Latu 14. Monica Samita 15. Kalosipani Hopoate 16. Ana Taumalolo 17. Amelia Mafi 18. Noia Fotu-Moala 19. Tahliya Tavita, 20. Elanoa Havea
Verdict: Plenty of NRLW talent on show again in this Test and both sides will be out for some big hits and plenty of open, attacking football. The Tongan players will start out with a high intensity, which the Kiwi Ferns will have to withstand, before they draw away to score plenty of points as the game progresses.
Tip: Kiwis by 22
New Zealand Kiwis vs. Mate Ma'a Tonga, Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, 2:20pm (AEST)
Kiwis: 1. Joseph Manu 2. Ronaldo Mulitalo 3. Marata Niukore 4. Peta Hiku 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Dylan Brown 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich (c) 9. Brandon Smith 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Isaiah Papali'i 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Joseph Tapine 14. Kieran Foran 15. Moses Leota 16. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 17. Briton Nikora 18. Jordan Riki 19. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 20. Te Maire Martin 21. Scott Sorensen 22. Erin Clark 23. Ken Maumalo 24. Griffin Neame
Mate Ma'a Tonga squad: 1. Tolutau Koula 2. Christian Tuipulotu 3. Will Penisini 4. Moses Suli 5. Sione Katoa 6. Kotoni Staggs 7. Talatau Amone 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Siliva Havili 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho (c) 11. Sitili Tupouniua 12. Keaon Koloamatangi 13. Jason Taumalolo 14. Soni Luke 15. Haumole Olakau'atu 16. Tevita Tatola 17. Moeaki Fotuaika 18. Joe Ofahengaue 19. Eliesa Katoa 20. Isaiya Katoa
Verdict: This is always an entertaining clash, with some of the biggest stars in the NRL out to represent their countries with pride. A great chance to build team cohesion ahead of this year's Rugby League World Cup, there will be no holding back as the Tongans go all out to prove that they are up among the best teams in the world.
Tip: Kiwis by 14
Samoa vs. Cook Islands, Campbelltown Stadium, 5:40pm (AEST)
Samoa: 1. Charlie Staines 2. Taylan May 3. Izack Tago 4. Jaxson Paulo 5. David Nofoaluma 6. Chanel Harris-Tavita 7. Anthony Milford 8. Martin Taupau 9. Jazz Tevaga 10. Francis Molo 11. Josh Schuster 12. Jaydn Su'A 13. Josh Aloiai 14. Fa'amanu Brown 15. Keenan Palasia 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Bunty Afoa 18. Mathew Feagai 19. Ronald Volkman 20. Toafofoa Sipley
Cook Islands: 1. Kayal Iro 2. Steven Marsters 3. Anthony Gelling 4. Reubenn Rennie 5. Malachi Morgan 6. Esan Marsters 7. Reece Joyce 8. Vincent Rennie 9. Aaron Teroi 10. Xavier Willison 11. Brendan Piakura 12. Pride Petterson-Robati 13. Tinirau Arona 14. Brody Tamarua 15. Moses Noovao-McGreal 16. Makahesi Makatoa 17. Davvy Moale 18. Reuben Porter 19. Geoff Daniela 20. Andre Iro 21. Lucky Pokipoki
Verdict: Going on NRL talent alone there is a clear gulf between these two teams and it should play out on the scoreboard. Still the Cook Islanders are a proud lot and will be keen for a good showing ahead of the World Cup.
Tip: Samoa by 36
Papua New Guinea vs. Fiji, GIO Stadium, Canberra 8:10pm (AEST)
Papua New Guinea: 1. Alex Johnston 2. Robert Derby 3. David Mead 4. Justin Olam 5. Terry Wapi 6. Kyle Laybutt 7. Lachlan Lam 8. Epel Kapinias 9. Wartovo Puara 10. Sylvester Namo 11. Dan Russell 12. Nixon Putt 13. Jacob Allick 14. Liam Horne 15. Emmanuel Waine 16. Mckenzie Yei 17. Dilbert Isaac 18. Junior Rop 19. Sherwin Tanabi 20. Solo Wane
Fiji: 1. Sunia Turuva 2. Mikaele Ravalawa 3. Semi Valemei 4. Waqa Blake 5. Maika Sivo 6. Kevin Naiqama 7. Nautu'a Masima 8. Joseph Ratuvakacerivalu 9. Penioni Tagituimua 10. Tui Kamikamica 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Taniela Sadrugu 13. Taane Milne 14. Isaac Lumelume 15. Pio Seci 16. Lamar Manuel-Liolevave 17. Kaylen Miller 18. Ralulu Nasoki 19. Waqasaqa Qiolevu 20. Mesake Kurukitoga
Verdict: The Kumuls are always entertaining, they know no other way to play the game. There are plenty of players with NRL experience sprinkled through these two teams, adding guidance to the enthusiasm of the others. With Panthers' forward Viliame Kikau leading the way, the Fijians look to have an edge in class and should win this one.
Tip: Fiji by 10
Sunday, June 26
New South Wales: 1. James Tedesco (c), 2. Brian To'o, 3. Matt Burton, 4. Stephen Crichton, 5. Daniel Tupou, 6. Jarome Luai, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. Payne Haas, 9. Apisai Koroisau, 10. Jake Trbojevic, 11. Cameron Murray, 12. Liam Martin, 13. Isaah Yeo. Bench: 14. Damien Cook, 15. Angus Crichton, 16. Junior Paulo, 17. Siosifa Talakai.
Reserves: 18. Nicho Hynes, 19. Joseph Suaalii, 20. Jordan McLean, 21. Clint Gutherson, 22. Victor Radley
Queensland: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Selwyn Cobbo 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Dane Gagai 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Cameron Munster 7. Daly Cherry-Evans (c) 8. Lindsay Collins 9. Ben Hunt 10. Josh Papalii 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Felise Kaufusi 13. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui. Bench: 14. Harry Grant 15. Patrick Carrigan 16. Jai Arrow 17. Jeremiah Nanai
Reserve: 18. Tom Dearden, 19. Thomas Flegler, 20. Beau Fermor, 21. Corey Oates, 22. Reece Walsh
Verdict: Queensland have been sitting back watching the Blues brains trust decide that everything they planned for Game 1 was not quite right. Coach Brad Fitter's team has undergone six changes to the original 17-man line-up, despite only losing the series opener by a converted try. Does Fittler have it right now? Can his players run out with complete confidence in their coach and the players he has assembled around them?
One of the biggest contributors to the Maroons legend is that they have complete faith in each other and know they will be backed, win or lose, by their coaching staff. They play with a freedom that comes from not having a jittery coach sharpening an axe on the sideline. They would never have dropped players like Jake Trbojevic, Angus Crichton and Josh Addo-Carr for a series opener, based on club form, especially on the back of a series win the year before. They know that their Origin players find their best in Origin.
Of the changes Fittler has made, the decision to start Apisai Koroisau at hooker, with Damien Cook relegated to the bench, is most interesting. The Panthers halves of Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai were on the back foot all night in Sydney, but that was not entirely Cook's fault. Cleary Fittler is hoping to sprinkle some more Panthers magic on the team, but Koroisau will struggle as well if the rest of the forwards don't give the team greater momentum. Fittler has dropped Tariq Sims, Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Ryan Matterson, hoping Trbojevic, Crichton and Siosifa Talakai can do a better job of getting the Blues on the front foot.
If the Blues can achieve some ascendancy in the forwards, they have a new centre pairing in Matt Burton and Stephen Crichton waiting to take advantage out wide. Burton's massive kicking game could take some pressure off Cleary as well.
The Maroons have only made the two forced changes to their side with Murray Taulagi coming in for injured Xavier Coates and Jai Arrow replacing Reuben Cotter. They will run out onto Optus Stadium in Perth full of confidence after their efforts in Game 1. The speed of their defensive line really rattled the Blues and they kept the ruck speed to a level they were very comfortable with. Cameron Munster took it from there, orchestrating an impressive victory in Sydney.
Billy Slater will have to make a few minor adjustments to account for the changes in the NSW line-up, but in general it will be business as usual. It will be interesting to see how much the Blues changes will help, but I feel that they had plenty of improvement in them anyway. This is desperation time now and they shouldn't be caught napping again. It won't be easy, but they should set up a decider in Brisbane.
Tip: Blues by 8
All odds correct at time of publication. Check tab.com.au for the latest.