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For those of you who have included Representative Round in your tipping competition, it is worth taking a look at who the experts are backing before finalising your decisions.

The men's and women's State of Origin matches will bookend a weekend that  includes three Test matches on Saturday.

New Zealand face Tonga in Auckland on Saturday while Samoa meet Papua New Guinea and Fiji tackle Lebanon in a double-header at Leichhardt Oval.

The Samoan sides boasts a forward pack filled with NRL talent, with the Kumuls will largely rely on combinations formed by PNG Hunters side that competes in the Intrust Super Cup.

State of Origin and Oceania Cup

Women's State of Origin: NSW v Queensland, Friday 7.45pm at North Sydney Oval

NSW: The Blues will field seven debutantes for their title defence with 43-year-old Kylie Hilder also returning to the interstate fold after a decade of absence. Strike centre Isabelle Kelly has overcome a knee injury that kept her out of the National Championships. Shaylee Bent will be 18th player. 

Queensland: The Maroons have four debutantes and two returning players in Chelsea Lenarduzzi and Jenni-Sue Hoepper in the 2019 side. Annette Brander will start in the back row. Stephanie Mooka will start at right centre alongside Meg Ward. Elle Stitt will be 18th player. 

Men's Test: New Zealand v Tonga, Saturday 5.40pm NZT (3.40pm AEST) at Mt Smart Stadium

New Zealand: Coach Michael Maguire has opted to go with a Marshall-Johnson halves combination, with Kieran Foran named among the reserves. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has served his suspension for that late hit on Kalyn Ponga in round 11 and will take his place in the front row with Jesse Bromwich. Such is the strength of the Kiwi pack that Nelson Asofa-Solomona will come off the bench. Jahrome Hughes and Briton Nikora will make their Test debuts.

Tonga: Cowboys utility John Asiata will play his first Test match for Tonga after previously representing Samoa. He will team up in the halves with Leeds' Tui Lolohea. With Andrew Fifita failing to beat a dangerous contact charge at the NRL judiciary on Tuesday the man most likely to take his place in the starting side is Manly enforcer Addin Fonua-Blake.

Men's Test: Fiji v Lebanon, Saturday 5.40pm at Leichhardt Oval

Fiji: A backline with speed to burn will be hoping a forward pack led by Viliame Kikau and Jason Bukuya can match it with the Lebanon big men.

Lebanon: Winger Josh Mansour has been ruled out of this week's match by his Panthers club doctor.

Men's Test: Samoa v Papua New Guinea, Saturday 7.40pm Leichhardt Oval

Samoa: The addition of Martin Taupau to the Samoan side bolsters an already formidable pack. Halves Chanel Harris-Tevita and Anthony Milford will be hoping to have plenty of space in which to work their magic.

Papua New Guinea: Veteran hooker James Segeyaro and Bulldogs back-rower Rhys Martin will lead the Kumuls into action. 

Men's State of Origin: NSW v Queensland, Sunday 5.50pm (7.50 AEST), Optus Stadium

Maroons: Tim Glasby and Jarrod Wallace join the bench in place of injured forwards Jai Arrow and Joe Ofahengaue, with Dylan Napa promoted to the starting side. Napa is likely to play despite carrying a wrist injury.

Blues: The Blues have made several changes with David Klemmer, Nick Cotric and Payne Haas injured and Angus Crichton, Cody Walker, Josh Morris and Latrell Mitchell dropped. Blake Ferguson, Tom Trbojevic, Jack Wighton and James Maloney join the starting backline, with Daniel Saifiti starting up front and Dale Finucane, Tariq Sims and Wade Graham added to the bench.

Tickets are available for the Pacific Tests at Leichhardt Oval via Ticketek - Get yours now


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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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