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Balmain junior Brandon Tumeth

Brandon Tumeth says tonight will be extra special for him wearing a sky blue jersey in his 'own back yard'.

Tumeth, who is a Balmain junior, is one of three Wests Tigers pathways players in action for NSW in the Under 19’s State of Origin at Leichhardt Oval.

Matamua in action against Cronulla
Matamua in action against Cronulla

Justin Matamua is the other Wests Tigers representative in the men's team, while Losana Lutu will line up for the Blues in the women’s match.

Tumeth and Matamua are no strangers to the Origin fraternity, having already represented Wests Tigers at last year’s Future Blues camp.

A 'local' who played Concord Burwood Wolves, Tumeth is expecting to see a few familiar faces in the crowd tonight.

"To represent my state in such a big game it is definitely something very special.

Playing at Leichhardt Oval is also really exciting. I played & trained many times at this ground during my junior years."

A lot of my family and friends will also be coming along to cheer me on so that's always really nice."

Brandon Tumeth

Asked if 19's Origin is anything like the senior men's series, Tumeth was quick to point out the similarities.

"The most important thing tonight is definitely having that Origin mentality."

It’s going be a grind but we need to keep turning up for each other and do whatever it takes to get the win."

Brandon Tumeth

The Macarthur region will also be well represented in the NSW teams. 

Matamua played his junior football for the Campbelltown City Kangaroos in the Western Suburbs competition.

And Lutu, from Leumeah, will pull on her first NSW Blues jersey after representing City at the Women's National Championships last week.

Wests Tigers Pathways player Losana Lutu
Wests Tigers Pathways player Losana Lutu ©Warren Gannon Photography

Each team is permitted to select two marquee players who hold NRL or NRLW contracts and both matches will be broadcast on Channel 9 and Fox League.

Acknowledgement of Country

Wests Tigers respect and honour 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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