NRL representative round set to return with internationals and State of Origin


Representative round will return in 2022, with three international games and two State of Origin fixtures confirmed between June 24th and June 26th. 

The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) released a statement on Thursday morning, announcing the three-day footy extravaganza. 

The weekend will also see the return of professional rugby league to New Zealand for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with the Kiwis taking on Tonga on the Saturday night. 

Campbelltown Stadium will feature an international double-header, with Samoa facing Cook Islands and PNG facing Fiji.

GIO Stadium will host the Women’s State of Origin clash on Friday night, before Game 2 of the Men’s Origin Series taking place on Sunday night at Optus Stadium in Perth.

“The Commission has made it clear that growing international rugby league would be a priority and we are delivering on that promise,” ARLC boss Peter V’landys said.

“Representative Round will provide a return to the excitement and national pride that Test matches produce.

“The Pacific Test Matches will be vital for these nations as they prepare for the World Cup later this year and importantly, for our fans, a chance to watch their heroes live in their national colours.

“The passion of the Pacific Nations and their fans is something unique to rugby league.

“This is part of a long term plan to grow the international game in conjunction with international rugby league and member countries.

“We’ve seen with the growth and success of Tonga in recent years and we want to capitalise on the potential depth of our Test playing nations.”

International footy has been forced to take a huge back-seat in recent years, with the 2021 Rugby League World Cup postponed until the end of 2022.

IRL boss Troy Grant said the rep round will be an important building block for the RLWC.

“It is great to be able to give the players from the Pacific nations time together ahead of the World Cup,” he said.

“We are also really excited to have the chance to kick start and rejuvenate international rugby league in the southern hemisphere after the impact of the pandemic.

“There has been very little opportunity to play international matches for more than two years and we know how passionate the players from the Cook Islands, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga are about representing their nations.

“We are very grateful to the ARLC, NRL, clubs and each of the nations involved for their support and contribution towards what is an important and significant weekend for international rugby league.”

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