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Somoa centre Joey Leilua.

Even though the NRL is on a break this weekend, there's plenty of representative rugby league to be excited about.

It all kicks off on Friday night when the women battle it out in their first official State of Origin. Watching footy from the North Sydney Oval hill is one of those "must do" experiences in rugby league.

These women are just as passionate about playing for their state as the men and it's set to be a great match.

The action moves south-west on Saturday for the Pacific Tests at Campbelltown Stadium. First up is Fiji against Papua New Guinea where there'll be enough to keep you entertained even before a ball is kicked.

As well as the fans going wild in the grandstands, one of the highlights will be the traditional Fiji hymn prior to kick-off. We've seen it over the past couple of years and it'll make the hairs on the back of your neck stick up. Kevin Naiqama is odds-on to shed a tear or two.

There's a lot to like about the PNG side, and even though they'll start as the underdogs, they'll have the belief of causing an upset.

The majority of the side play together each week for the PNG Hunters, mixed in with some classy NRL players. Cronulla hooker James Segeyaro is a great addition to the side and could set the game alight.

The main even on the night though will be Tonga against Samoa. It's always a big event when these two teams come together, but there's extra hype this time around.

With Jason Taumalolo and Andrew Fifita backing up for Tonga, they'll be hoping to continue their impressive form from last year's World Cup.

But Samoa will be out to stop them. Speaking to Big League this week, centre Joey Leilua said he and his Samoan team-mates are still hurting from their World Cup campaign. Samoa failed to win a game during the tournament and crashed out with a 46-0 loss to Australia.

He admitted it was tough watching Tonga have so much success while his side struggled the whole time. Expect them to fight hard on Saturday night.

With a bumper crowd expected to turn up, expect a lot of noise and plenty of passion.

The Papua New Guinea team photo shoot.
The Papua New Guinea team photo shoot. ©Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos

And then, to cap off a marvellous weekend of footy, we have the main event to look forward – State of Origin II.  It'll be the first Sunday night Origin since 2001 and the Blues have the chance to claim their second series in 13 years.

The home side will be confident of wrapping up the series, but Queensland know they're capable of fighting back. After all, they did it last year.

It's going to be a great weekend of rugby league. Get out to a game and support these rep players. If you can't make it to the grounds, no worries – all these games are live on free-to-air TV. 

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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