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Young playmaker ready to weave his magic in blue

It might be a step below the real thing, but that fact is irrelevant for Tom Weaver as he prepares to pull on a Blues jersey and face the Maroons in tonight's Under 19 State of Origin clash.

Circling the fixture at the start of the season as one he wanted to play a part in, the Cudgen Hornets junior will achieve a childhood dream when he runs out with the No. 6 on his back in Sydney, representing his state for the first time since playing for New South Wales in the Under 16 fixture in 2019.

"I set [the Under 19 game] as a goal for myself for the start of the year that it was something that I wanted to achieve and I was stoked to get the call and be told that I was in the squad to take on the Maroons in the Under 19 Origin," Weaver said.

"As a young kid, I'd always watch that game and want to play in it myself, and now I get the opportunity to be able to do that so, I'm pretty stoked."

The goal for the young playmaker this week has been to learn as much as he can, being the first time he's entered such a high-level camp such as this one.

"I just want to go in there with an open mind. I've been in a camp before, but not in a camp such as the New South Wales Origin Under 19s," Weaver said.

"To be in there with greats that played Origin (such as coach Andrew Ryan) and learning off them to soak up as much as I can.

"That's what I'm looking forward to the most and getting in with the boys and becoming good mates with them as well."

One of six Titans named for their respective state in the junior fixture, the 19-year-old is looking forward to playing alongside his teammates and other friends on both sides of the field - including Jojo Fifita, who jokingly suggested earlier this week he'd smash him in the contest.

"He's such a talent [Jojo]. I also have a few mates in the Queensland side as well, which is pretty cool to be able to have some of your mates in an Origin game... you don't really get to do that very often," Weaver said.

"To be able to play with them and especially Jojo being here with him at the Titans, it'll be pretty cool opportunity to be able to verse him on the field."

Away from the representative scene, the former Palm Beach Currumbin playmaker's next goal is to debut in the Hostplus Cup, after a strong start to the year in the Hastings Deering Colts competition for Tweed.

"One of my other goals is to play Cup this year. That's been one of my main focuses to take that next step and play for Tweed in Q Cup," Weaver said.

"I played a few trials at the start of the year and I really enjoyed my time there, challenging myself a little bit more against men... older men and stuff like that.

"That's probably my next step to try and push for a Cup spot. If it's at the back end of this year or if it's next year, I'm happy to bide my time and keep learning."

He is also happy to keep spending each day at Titans HQ as a sponge, learning and growing without needing to fast-track a call-up to NRL anytime soon.

"I'm not in any rush as such to play in the NRL or anything like that.," Weaver said.

"I'm just happy to keep learning and I think I'll look at it now... if I was to go out and play in NRL, I think I'd get bashed up a bit being such a smaller bloke.

"I'm a bit realistic in what my timeline is looking like. I know I'm not going to play this year and probably next year - I might get a crack here and there, but I'm just happy to bide my time and keep learning.

"Especially with trying to build myself up and get confident in my own body being able to match it with NRL players week in week out so, I'm just sort of looking to bide my time."

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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