Movement patterns of players in the Australian Women’s Rugby League team during international competition

Published:October 18, 2019DOI:



      To describe the movement patterns of the Australian Women’s Rugby League team during international competition.


      Retrospective observational study.


      Global Positioning Systems technology recorded the movements of players from the Australian Women’s Rugby League team (n = 31) during seven international rugby league matches. A subgroup of players (n = 18) that played at least 80 min in a match were categorized into three positional groups: forwards (n = 7), backs (n = 7) and halves (n = 4), and analysed for external outputs that were classified into multiple speed zones. Mean speed (m min−1) and mean speed when travelling >12 km h−1 (MS12; m min−1) were calculated for each 10% interval of playing time of both groups to assess changes in match intensity.


      Total distance travelled was greater in the first half (3332.9 m compared to 3249.0 m), along with distances travelled at speeds >15 km h−1 (p < 0.05), whereas players travelled further at speeds <6 km h−1 in the second half (p = 0.005). Backs travelled further at speeds <6 km h−1 (p = 0.002) and >15 km h−1 (p = 0.007) compared to forwards. Mean speed significantly reduced across the first and second halves (p < 0.05), while MS12 reduced by ∼40% in the first half of the match (i.e. first ∼5 min compared to the last ∼5 min).


      These results provide coaches with sport-specific activity profiles of female rugby league players that can be used to individualise training prescription. Given that match-intensity deteriorated across the first and second halves, programs may be targeted at improving endurance and supramaximal exercise tolerance in order for female players to withstand high match-demands of international competition.


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