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Broncos prop Millie Boyle.

Australian Jillaroos coach Brad Donald expects the intensity in the women's game to reach new heights during the World Cup 9s.

The Jillaroos face New Zealand on Friday before clashes against England and Papua New Guinea take place on Saturday before the final that night.

Donald was part of the Jillaroos' Auckland Nines series victory in 2017.

Only four players – Ali Brigginshaw, Brittany Breayley, Kezie Apps and Corban McGregor – remain from the victorious 2017 squad.

"We've got an awful lot of speed and it's just going to be one of those things where we haven't played a whole lot or trained for it," Donald told

"But we've got a squad that I think can give it a good shake. We tried to pick some mobile forwards that have some minutes in them and then a couple of other elements to their game.

"Someone like Millie Boyle brings that and Kezie Apps is quite dynamic and mobile as well. Hopefully, we've got the right mix."

Match Highlights: Fiji PM XIII Womens v AUS PMXIII

The introduction of the NRLW over the past two seasons has seen a host of talented young players enter the game.

While Donald was yet to see the player data from the latest NRLW campaign he expects improved efforts from a sports science perspective.

"I think the intensity of the Origin game increased more than 15 percent so I daresay when the data is analysed on the NRLW we'll see something similar," Donald said.

"And that is only expected to rise further in a tournament like this where there's not a lot of time to get it right, virtually whoever holds onto the ball will have a successful time."

How the inaugural Rugby League World Cup 9s will work

Squads for the women's tournament have been named with New Zealand appearing to be Australia's biggest threat.

Donald expects England and PNG to have improved following their growth since the 2017 World Cup.

"The Kiwi Ferns have been fantastic in the NRLW so they'll at their usual strong best," he said.

"England come as an unknown quantity but they've got a strong Super League competition happening in the northern hemisphere.

"Then you add in the flair and unpredictability of PNG who could be well-suited to nine-minute halves. Either way, it makes for an exciting tournament leading into the Test match in a fortnight."

The Jillaroos received a setback last week with in-form Broncos winger Tamika Upton withdrawing due to work commitments.

A replacement won't be named given Donald was already carrying an extra player in the squad.


For ticket and travel packages for the Downer Rugby League World Cup 9s Sydney 2019, head to

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