The Cumberland Throw

Team List Tuesday – Representative Honour Roll Edition

The NRL, NSW Cup and Jersey Flegg all have a week off as we turn our collective heads to a weekend full of representative action. State of Origin II puts the exclamation mark on a massive weekend but truth be told I am even more excited for a full slate of international matches which is headlined by the long awaited return to New Zealand where the Kiwis will host Tonga.

Naturally there are plenty of Parramatta Eels who have answered the call to state and country. While Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Ryan Matterson were done extremely dirty by a trigger happy NSW selection panel, Junior Paulo has retained his place in the team – albeit, somewhat laughably on the bench to make way for Jake Trbojevic. Parramatta’s talismanic prop forward will be looking for a big game in Perth after a mixed bag in the first clash. He is bringing some serious momentum into Game II mind you, coming off arguably a season best effort against the Roosters. Joining Junior in camp is his fellow co-captain in Clinton Gutherson who will also travel to Perth to provide the squad with depth ahead of the game on Sunday.

In a huge moment for Dylan Brown and Marata Niukore, both players have finally broken through for their maiden New Zealand caps. Joining them in the iconic black & white strip is Isaiah Papali’i who has built solidly upon his breakthrough season in 2021. With Siosifa Talakai selected for NSW, Will Penisini has a very good shot at making his international debut for Tonga in the centres where he would face his trio of Blue & Gold team mates.

The honour list keeps going with Makahesi Makatoa representing the Cook Islands and Maika Sivo turning out for Fiji to round out the Pacifica test matches. Lebanon are taking on Malta in the first international fixture of the week (taking place tomorrow on Wednesday at Belmore) and the Eels have two representatives for the Cedars. Elie El-Zakhem, one of our NSW Cup standouts, and Jabriel Kalache, a young and talented backline prospect, have been named for Lebanon.

Alongside the senior representative footy, there is also the Under 19s State Of Origin clash on Thursday. Larry Muagututia is the lone Eel to get the call up for NSW and will play from the bench at Leichardt Oval.

In the Women’s matches, both Tiana Penitani and Simaima Taufa take their place in the starting Blues side, whilst Filomina Hanisi has been named on the reserve list. The Tarsha Gale Cup team has been rewarded for their strong season with Petesa Lio, Ruby-Jean Kennard, Tahleisha Maeva and Rosemarie Beckett listed for 19s Origin at Leichhardt Oval. They are joined by Eels newcomers Reuben Cherrington and Cassey Tohi-Hiku.

In other women’s matches Debbie Doueihi and Ameena Kanj will represent Lebanon against Malta at Belmore on Saturday, whilst Seli Mailangi takes the field for Mate Ma’a Tonga against New Zealand at Mount Smart Stadium, also on Saturday.

Congratulations to all the Parramatta Eels selected to represent their state or country this week!


NSW Blues

vs QLD Maroons, Origin Game II, Optus Stadium, 7:50PM Sunday

Junior Paulo

Clinton Gutherson (reserve)


NSW Blues

vs Queensland, GIO Stadium, 7:45PM Friday

Tiana Penitani

Simaima Taufa

Filomina Hanisi (reserve)


New Zealand

vs Mate Ma’a Tonga, Mt Smart Stadium, 3:20PM Saturday

Dylan Brown

Marata Niukore

Isaiah Papali’i


Mate Ma’a Tonga

vs New Zealand, Mt Smart Stadium, 3:20PM Saturday

Will Penisini


Mate Ma’a Tonga (Women’s)

Saturday, June 25, 1:10pm AEST at Mount Smart Stadium

Seli Mailangi



Cook Islands

vs Samoa, Campbelltown Stadium, 5:40PM Saturday

Makahesi Makatoa



vs Papua New Guinea, Campbelltown Stadium, 7:50PM Saturday

Maika Sivo

Waqa Blake




vs Malta, Belmore Stadium, 7:30PM Wednesday

Elie El-Zakhem

Jabriel Kalache


vs Malta, Belmore Stadium, 5:30pm, Saturday

Debbie Doueihi
Ameena Kanj


NSW Under 19s

vs QLD Under 19s, Leichardt Stadium, 7:45PM Thursday

Larry Muagututia


NSW Under 19s

vs Queensland Under 19s, Leichhardt Oval, 5:45 pm Thursday

Rueben Cherrington

Petesa Lio

Ruby-Jean Kennard

Tahleisha Maeva

Cassey Tohi-Hiku

Rosemarie Beckett (reserve)

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6 thoughts on “Team List Tuesday – Representative Honour Roll Edition

  1. sixties

    I will continue to cheer for the Eels, but I fear that these changes for Origin two will lead to the series loss come full time. From a selfish perspective, the non selection of Reg and Matto will leave them fresher for their next Eels match.

    1. MickB

      Totally agree with this. Not sure whether origin experience is a net positive or negative. As a player I imagine rep honours would be a buzz, and there are direct and indirect financial benefits, but I have my questions on whether there is any genuine career development.

      Like any job, it’s not a complete meritocracy. There are diversity targets, favouritism, and other factors. So while Fittler (and whomever else make the decisions) are in charge, these form players face an uphill battle for selection. I just wish someone would call his BS on selection rationale. Just call it what it is – jobs for the boys.

      1. sixties

        Representative selection has always had that controversial element. From the old days of religious denomination deciding the jobs through to club alliances, there have always been tales of good fortune and also head scratching omissions.

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