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Titans coach Jamie Feeney has welcomed a minor change in squad announcements that will allow coaches to name up to 24 players each round for the NRL Telstra Women's Premiership.

The COVID-19 pandemic is the reason for the adjustment with players named in the reserves to become available for coaches should players in the final 18 record a positive rapid test on game day.

All the NRLW squads announced on Tuesday included an extended list, which will be trimmed to 18 as per normal before kick-off unless the NRL approves any last-minute team changes due to COVID-19 protocols.

Around a third of Feeney's squad have spent time off training in the past five weeks after either testing positive to coronavirus or being deemed a close contact and forced into quarantine.

All six NRLW clubs have also been affected in the pre-season.

"It's a great move from the NRL to allow us to travel with 24," Feeney told NRL.com.

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"You can pick a team and it could change. It would've been a nightmare for me to take 18 because you just don't know.

"We could all test negative the day before and then travel to the game and half the team can be wiped out.

"A lot of coaches would probably feel the same so it provides us with that back-up and a bit of security if things don't go to plan."

Feeney has already been forced to tinker with his squad in the summer with forwards Crystal Tamarua (ankle) and Rona Peters (personal reasons) withdrawing from the campaign.

The former Roosters coach was excited to bring in North Queensland product Lauren Moss, a rising winger, as part of the replacement process after reviewing the balance of the squad.

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"She's another girl who has stood out in the BHP Premiership," Feeney said.

"Tahnee Norris had some big raps on her. She was in the mix for the Queensland extended squad last year.

"She's strong and fast so I don't think taking on other players will affect her, it will just be the experience at this level."

The Titans will be more experienced against the Dragons for their inaugural match on Sunday but Feeney expects the side to build into their campaign given they hadn't played together before.

"It was by round three at the Roosters last season that we seemed to be connected so I think the same will happen this year," he said.

"We've got some good youth and experience, it's just the combinations we haven't quite settled on.

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"I don't want the girls to think too much out there. They've been coached by so many different people that everyone's got different ideas of footy.

"Footy can be basic if you don't think to too much. The more you think about it the more you make errors.

"We've done a bit around structures but I also want the girls to play what they see and not be too structured."

 

Be there at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday for the opening round of the NRLW. Ticket prices start at just $12 for adults, and juniors under 15 can redeem a free general admission ticket with any paying adult. Visit nrl.com/tickets

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