Women go from league's shortest to longest

Australia will have less than a week to prepare for an 80-minute rugby league Test after nines duty.
Australia will have less than a week to prepare for an 80-minute rugby league Test after nines duty.

Australia's women must go from the game's shortest format to beyond their normal match length in just six days when they face New Zealand in Friday's Test.

Fresh off their World Cup nines loss to the Kiwi Ferns on Saturday night, the Jillaroos immediately started their preparations for the Test showdown in Wollongong.

Aside from the quick shift from the nines format, players from both sides face the added challenge of an 80-minute match, compared to the hour they play at NRLW level.

The extra 20 minutes made a notable difference in the past Test between the two teams, with Australia coming from behind to claim the victory late last year.

"Twenty minutes extra is a long time," Jillaroos coach Brad Donald said.

"The 30-minute halves we have in the NRLW is the right concept for where we are in the game and the talent pool we've got.

"These are the best players and they're really conditioned for 60 minutes.

"So, that's why the fatigue on the back end of both halves on Friday is going to effect the outcome."

The Jillaroos have other decisions that await them this week.

Hooker Brittany Breayley had to pull out of both the nines and Test through work commitments, and Donald must make a call on who will fill in at dummy-half.

Breayley's St George Illawarra teammate Keeley Davis was predominantly used throughout the nines, and at this stage shapes as the favourite to play hooker in just her second Test.

"She (Breayley) will leave a big hole in our team," Donald said.

"But we've got some young players like Keeley Davis, who was just outstanding over this (nines) tournament.

"I think she's shown that she will handle that (No.9) really well."

Australian Associated Press