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When New South Wales and Queensland come up against Perth later this month, many Blues and Maroons will either have shunned their state or a land of heritage.

Daniel Tupou, Junior Paulo, Payne Haas, Josh Papalii and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui are among them.

The reason is planning.

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NSW Blues, Queensland Maroons, Tests, representative round, Daniel Tupou, Tonga, Phil Gould, Paul Gallen

Phil Gould called this year’s representative tour schedule “stupid” and “absolutely ridiculous”, but Paul Gallen disputed the great coach’s claims.

Papalii will not be able to don his beloved Samoan sweater to face the Cook Islands on June 25 as he has pledged to run for Queensland in the second home state tie a day later.

The game is part of a representative mid-year round which also includes a test between New Zealand and Tonga, a clash between Papua New Guinea and Fiji and the Women’s Home State matches and under 19 years old.

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“How stupid planning. How stupid. Can you believe it?” Gould said on Nine’s 100% Footy.

“It’s a billion dollar game.

“How stupid is the calendar.

“Players are forced to decide in a weekend whether to play for their home country or whether to play for their state in the biggest game gaming has to offer. And let’s be honest: Origin is the biggest stage.

“How stupid the calendar is.”

NSW Blues, Queensland Maroons, Tests, representative round, Daniel Tupou, Tonga, Phil Gould, Paul Gallen

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The representative round will see Test football return to the schedule after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Kiwis’ game against Tonga in Auckland will mark the first elite rugby league match on New Zealand soil since 2019.

“‘Let’s put it in because we can and it’s easy,’ rather than ‘What’s in the interest of our players?’, especially those who help the international game,” Gould said. .

“Players from the Pacific Islands love to play for their home country. We want to juggle that to figure out whether or not you can play Origin?

“I find it all absolutely ridiculous and amateurish that we’re all walking around in a weekend.

“We shouldn’t face representative football where they can’t or where they have to be made to make a decision.

“Does no one see how stupid this is? Am I the only one who sees how stupid this is? Or do we just give up?”

Gould slams talk about NSW Origin changes

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Gallen pushed back, arguing that the fact that Tonga and Samoa had only recently begun to genuinely challenge top nations Australia and New Zealand was the reason for the clashing schedule.

Tonga stunned Australia in 2019 in one of the biggest upsets in rugby league history, winning 16-12 to become the first Tier 2 nation to beat a Tier 1 country.

“I think the only reason it’s like that at the moment, sticking around for the game a bit, is that Tonga and Samoa weren’t as big a force as they are in. this time for the past five years,” Gallen said.

“They weren’t that strong three or four years ago. Now they’ve gotten stronger (so) they have to look at that in the future.”

But Gould continued to fume.

“Why the confrontation?” he said.

“It’s really easy. We have 52 weeks a year. Why?”

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