Locomotor Characteristics of the Inaugural Womens Super League Competition and the Rugby League World Cup


Understanding the locomotor characteristics of competition can help rugby league (RL) coaches optimise training prescription. To date, no research exists on the locomotor characteristics of women’s RL. The aim was to compare the whole match and peak locomotor characteristics of women’s RL competition at international (RL World Cup [WRLWC]) and domestic level (Super League [WSL]). Microtechnology data were collected from 58 players from 3-WSL clubs and 1-WRLWC team. Participants were classified into forwards (n = 30) and backs (n = 28). Partial least squares correlation analysis established which variables were important to discriminate between level of competition (international vs. domestic) and positional group (forwards vs. backs). Linear mixed effects models estimated the differences between standards of competition and positional group for those variables. International forwards were most likely exposed to greater peak 1-min average acceleration (standardised mean difference =1.23 [0.42 to 2.04]) and peak 3-min average acceleration (1.13 [0.41 to 1.85]) than domestic forwards. International backs likely completed greater peak 1-min average acceleration (0.83 [0.08 to 1.58]) than domestic backs and possibly completed greater high-speed-distances (0.45 [-0.17 to 1.07]). Findings highlight the need for positional specific training across levels to prepare representative players for the increased match characteristics of international competition.

Journal of Sports Sciences, [Epub ahead of print}
Jason Tee
Jason Tee
Coach educator and performance consultant

Coach and sports scientist with an interest in player and coach development