Ladies Who League: Rep Round
This week, our Ladies Who League blogger, Mary Kaye, looks at the annual Rep Round, and picks out the players she can't wait to watch. Remember you can see more of her writing at Ladies Who League.
This weekend is all about celebrating the tremendous talent in rugby league - it's Representative Round.
Our Parramatta Eels get a well-earned break and we, as fans, have some big clashes to look forward to.
It begins on Friday night when Australia take on New Zealand. On Saturday the superstars of tomorrow will do battle in the Holden Under-20s State of Origin Match, while in Rugby League's heartland, the west, Fiji will take on Samoa to see who will join Australia, New Zealand and England in the Four Nations tournament at the end of the season.
Finally, on Sunday, traditional, old-school rivalry will be played out when City take on Country.
I thought this would be a fitting time to celebrate the selection of some of our Parramatta stars and to congratulate them on the honour of representing their region, state and country.
In total, 7 Eels were named for representative honours over the weekend.
Firstly, Will Hopoate will make his return to representative football as he dons the City Jersey on Saturday night.
I was really pleased to see Will selected in this team. He has certainly been a quiet achiever at the Eels this year. While he is yet to produce the razzle dazzle he was famous for before he left the NRL, I have no doubt that by the end of the year we will see him back to his explosive best.
In an encouraging display, four Eels will be playing in the Under 20s State of Origin: Pauli Pauli, Kaysa Pritchard and Ryan Matterson have been named for the Blues, while John Folau has been named for the Maroons.
These selections highlight one of the strengths of our Parramatta Eels this year - we are young. This year has seen many new players blooded and effective use one of one of our most valuable assets, our junior nursery.
Pauli Pauli has been very exciting to watch in his debut games in top grade. Kaysa, Ryan and John are three youngsters all Eels fans should be keeping an eye on as well - it won't be too long before they are consistent first graders.
The selection I was most excited about however was Semi Radradra who has been named in the Fiji Bati squad. Semi has been one of our best this year. He reminds me of Eric Grothe with his strength and his speed. He has added real attacking prowess to our squad this year and I am looking forward to watching him represent his country, it will undoubtedly be a huge moment for the youngster.
He will line up against team mate Junior Paulo who has been selected in the Toa Samoa Squad. Another well-deserved selection.
Whilst it was a disappointing result against the Cowboys over the weekend, the break this weekend will give the Eels the opportunity to reflect on how far they have come this season and how far they still have to go.
Enjoy Representative Round!