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The leading lady fuelling the Warriors

The lone woman in the Warriors NRL football department, nutritionist Alice Sharples says she's like an "aunty" to the players.

"Everyone's really respectful and really nice," Sharples told before the club's Women in League Round clash with the Roosters on Sunday.

"The boys will always come and talk to me about stuff and spin yarns. It's awesome here, the boys are amazing."

After stints with the Chiefs in Super Rugby and Counties Manukau in the Mitre 10 Cup, Sharples was welcomed into rugby league at the Warriors this season.

She is tasked with fuelling the side for optimal performance, tailoring each player's diet to their own needs.

"I have the motto that everyone's human. Ninety per cent of the time they have to be strict but there's 10 per cent that we are human," Sharples said.

"It differs from player to player with what position they are, how many minutes they play and also their size and body composition goals.

"We put a massive importance on it here, especially with recovery, training nutrition and also performance."

Warriors nutritionist Alice Sharples and skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
Warriors nutritionist Alice Sharples and skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. ©NRL Photos

Sharples worked with star fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck earlier this week and detailed the captain's constant eating regime.

"We try and fuel him at least seven times a day and he can reach 3500 to 4500 calories depending on his output." (The benchmark for the average male is around 2500.)

Replenishing lost fluids is also a major key to ensuring the squad remains in top shape, Sharples said.

"We have protein shakes after every training, we have hydration drink bottles and all that ... We have massive refill stations after each training."

A career in sports nutrition has allowed Sharples to combine three passions - food, sport and helping others.

And while the NRL can be a cut-throat world, she finds the rollercoaster a thrill.

"Riding the highs and lows and training them to eat well, it's part of the fun of the job at the end of the day," Sharples said.

Being in a male-dominated profession, Sharples explained there's a natural bond between women working in sport.

"It's awesome when you see another female around - you're like, 'Hi!', and you kind of understand what you're both [dealing with]," she said.

For any females considering a career in rugby league, Sharples preached one message - make sure you enjoy it.

"Just go and have fun and try it out. Don't be intimidated by males or players. At the end of the day, just have fun."

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National Rugby League respects and honours 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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