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New Warriors NRLW coach Slade Griffin.

New Warriors NRLW coach Slade Griffin said uncertainty over a trans-Tasman bubble is making it difficult to prepare for the upcoming season.

The former Melbourne and Newcastle utility has taken charge of the Warriors women's team after the ARL Commission confirmed last month that the NRLW season would go ahead in September.

"I am really excited," Griffin said. "The quality of rugby league is just improving so much in the women's space and it is really refreshing being around the girls because they just love the game.

"I had watched the Origins, the NRWL and the World Cups and the quality of football is really good so it’s impressive. I just want to help the players improve as much as they can and be a part of growing the women's game."

Brisbane, St George Illawarra and Sydney Roosters will again be the other teams in the NRLW. Plans to increase season from four matches to seven have been scrapped due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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"That's really sad but hopefully next year it grows again and I only see it taking off from here," Griffin said.

"The girls were pretty crushed when they were told the season was going to be cancelled and now everyone is really buzzing again. The girls are just really excited so I hope we can get over there and play."

Until the border between Australia and New Zealand is re-opened, the Warriors are going to have to navigate similar issues as their male counterparts, who have been based in NSW since May 3.

A lot of the girls over here play rugby union as well and it's just great for them to get out there

Warriors NRLW coach Slade Griffin

Team manager Petrece Kesha, who was Auckland's first female referee, is helping Griffin with the planning, along with NZRL GM High Performance and former Kiwis international Motu Tony.  

"We are just preparing for every scenario," said Griffin, who represented New Zealand in the 2018 Denver Test against England.

"One scenario could be to fly in and fly out with the bubble and another could be that we have to go over there and stay for a few weeks and play all of our games. The NRL is going to get back to us within a few weeks and give us a plan."

With NRLW teams due to begin training in mid-August, Griffin is now considering the make-up of his squad and he has attended matches after the Auckland Rugby League competition resumed last week.

"The girls have just started playing again and they are really enjoying themselves," he said.

"A lot of the girls over here play rugby union as well and it's just great for them to get out there, throw a footy around and get a bit of exercise with their mates.

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"We are quite lucky that we have a lot of talent over here and the women’s game is quite strong - and getting stronger."

Griffin replaces Luisa Avaiki, who had been the only female coach in the NRLW for the past two seasons and follows the appointment of Jamie Feeney by Sydney Roosters in place of Rick Stone.

Last year's grand finalists St George Illawarra will again be coached by Daniel Lacey, while former Kiwi Ferns mentor Kelvin Wright takes charge of back-to-back premiers Brisbane for a second season.

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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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