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Women's State of Origin on the Sunshine Coast has received a major boost with extended game time expected to be confirmed for the 2020 fixture.

The annual interstate clash between NSW and Queensland has been played across 60 minutes over the past two seasons but will increase to 35-minute halves after receiving approval last week.

Respective Origin coaches Andrew Patmore and Jason Hetherington both expressed their desire for additional time after failing to give players enough opportunity in past clashes.

Equally, the players had been pushing for a change to bring further fatigue into the match after playing 80 minutes in previous clashes between the two states before the fixture was officially recognised as State of Origin in 2018.

"It was definitely needed, the game was such a high intensity but seemed to go too quickly," Queensland captain Ali Brigginshaw told NRL.com.

"Anything can happen in that extra 10 minutes. All the games we can come home in the last 10 minutes and take advantage of a bit more fatigue.

"I think for both teams we'll see some more points scored and being on the Sunshine Coast in humid conditions this year it will come down to whoever is fittest on the day."

The NSW women celebrate their 2019 State of Origin win.
The NSW women celebrate their 2019 State of Origin win. ©David Hossack/NRL Photos

The NRL's Telstra Women's Premiership will remain as 30-minute halves with NRL.com also able to confirm;

  • Golden point will remain part of NRLW;
  • The Bunker will be in play;
  • No six-again rule for infringements with penalties to be awarded instead;
  • Captain's challenge in play with one incorrect decision per team;
  • Scrum re-start positioning in play;
  • 40/30 kick in play with a 20/50 kick option also included and;
  • The mutual ruck infringement will be introduced. 

Brigginshaw welcomed the captain's challenge option and will take a leaf out of how NRL captains have used it throughout this season.  

"There's been times when you would've wanted to speak up to a referee but you couldn't," Brigginshaw said.

"Sometimes the referee tells you to go away whereas now you can challenge that I think it will give some girls a voice and it will be interesting to see when we use it."

Another rule introduced, the 20/50, is a genuine option in the women's game according to the Jillaroos captain.

"We have spoken about it, sometimes the teams back off with pressure in the 20, it might be a way to get an early kick in with no pressure," she said.

"And 30 metres isn't that far to get the kick."

Brigginshaw added the game had begun to evolve from a "crash-and-barge" mentality to clubs implementing genuine tactics around how to beat the opposition ahead of the NRLW's third season beginning on Saturday.

Hale keen for opening game against the ‘favourites’

"That's something we have to learn as players, you can be a big body or be really fast but if you don't understand the game it's how you get beaten," Brigginshaw said.

"Coaches and girls are getting smarter and they're understanding the game – counting defenders and playing eyes-up footy.

"The boys have been doing that for a long time but it's only really being introduced for the girls."

NRL.com understands the six-again rule was knocked back on review over concerns players haven't been given enough time to adjust in an already disrupted season.

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