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Brigginshaw warns Caslick she'll be targeted but convert unfazed

Broncos captain Ali Brigginshaw has cast doubt on the immediate impact Roosters recruit Charlotte Caslick will have on the competition but the rugby sevens star expects to be targeted.

Leading into the third NRL Telstra Women's Premiership, the poster girl for rugby sevens in Australia, Caslick fronted for her first media conference in Roosters colours at Leichhardt Oval on Thursday afternoon to discuss her temporary cross-code switch.

North of the border, Brigginshaw was doing some talking of her own, with the premiership-winning Broncos halfback giving an honest assessment when asked about the rugby sevens international.

Brigginshaw was voted the best women's player in rugby league earlier this week in a fans' poll and looks set to go head-to-head with Caslick when the two sides meet next month.

"I can't imagine she's going to be given much space by teams given she's come to the game with a name," Brigginshaw said.

"I know she would know the rules around league but the fact she's never played a game before I find really interesting.

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Proud to be joining the @sydneyroosters for the 2020 NRLW season. Can’t wait to strap the boots on finally! 🐓

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"She's obviously quicker than me so there will be ways I'll defend her and as a team we'll assess her just like we do every team.

"I just love challenges so anyone who plays in the halves I challenge myself against them. I say it to all my players, if you beat your opponent individually we'll win the game.

Charlotte Caslick representing Australia at the Women's World Sevens Series in France in 2016.
Charlotte Caslick representing Australia at the Women's World Sevens Series in France in 2016. ©

"It doesn't matter who you are, I'll be looking at who she's got outside her and what she'll play."

Speaking to the media on Thursday, Caslick wasn't arrogant enough to assume she's going to walk in and make an immediate impact in the NRLW given her lack of rugby league experience.

Her decision to join the Tricolours has generated extra attention ahead of the competition's kick-off and Caslick acknowledged the expectation may see her name be brought up more than once in opposition team meetings.

"I'm used to it, I've had that target on my head since I was 12," Caslick said.

"It comes with the fact I do have high standards and expect high standards from the people around me. Hopefully, that comes with success, too.

"I'm definitely up for the challenge but I've been really nervous about it. Ideally, I would've liked to have played a game but it wasn't to be.

The Roosters' 2020 NRLW squad.
The Roosters' 2020 NRLW squad. ©

"In a way, it's almost a good lead-in to the pressure we might get next year at the Olympic games, having a lot of people talk about us [rugby sevens girls] coming across.

"It can only be good for me and setting myself up for the future."

Caslick will have just over a week to finalise preparations with the Roosters before running out for the Tricolours in round one on Saturday, October 3.

The Olympic gold medallist said patience was something she would need to learn on the run with an increased time spent on the field.

"It's obviously a little bit rushed with our preparation due to finalising all the restrictions," Caslick said.

"There's a lot to learn but skills like touch-pass are still the same. The tackling is going to be the main difference for me.

"And I think just being a bit more patient, obviously in sevens you've got to take the opportunity when it comes up.

"Whereas I'll probably get another chance in rugby league so I've got to remember that."

I'm used to it, I've had that target on my head since I was 12.

Charlotte Caslick

Meanwhile, Caslick hasn't ruled out a possible State of Origin call-up alongside Brigginshaw in the halves in November should her form in the NRLW warrant selection.

"I'm keeping the window open but I've never played league before so I'm not getting ahead of myself," she said.

"I'm trying to get my first game out of the way first."

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