WOLLONGONG Devils are preparing for their greatest test of endurance this week, under strict COVID-19 conditions at the State Cup.
The new rules to bring NSW's best touch players together mean teams will have to play two or three games back-to-back during the preliminary stages.
There are fewer entries this year, with almost 200 from 17 associations, but Wollongong are sending a record six teams to Port Macquarie, including two women's open squads for the first time ever.
"Our goal is to make finals," Wollongong representative Emily Burke said.
"And hopefully make the grand final and win it.
"This year is quite raw, we've got some girls brought up from the 16s and 18s, who have played juniors for the Devils.
"We've got two opens teams for the first time every apparently, so that's awesome, we've been able to train together and against each other for every single session."
Both women's teams will play in the B division, while Wollongong will also play in the men's A and B competitions, as well as the mixed under 20s and 30s age divisions.
The men's top grade team will feature Australian representatives Matt Tope and Terry Deegan, while the B team contains Milton-Ulladulla quartet Jed Frank, Travis Wooden, Aiden Costa and Lochie Wall.
Vincentia's Terri Milani, Batemans Bay's Sharmay Brailey and Gerringong's Mackenzie Ford headline the women's open side, with Gerringong sextet Taj Ford, Hamish Stewart, Kynan Ward, Ashton Ward, Wes Pring and Dylan Egan in the men's under 20s side.
Finally, Nowra's Sam Watts, Berry's Ruby Nicholson, Ulladulla's Ben McClennan and Vincentia's Kate Milani, who all played for the Devils at October's country championships, are in the mixed over 30s side.
Wollongong Touch Association president Steven Sopher admits the survival of the fittest could determine this year's State Cup champions, with teams to enter and leave restricted areas and play multiple games during the round robin draw.
"There's a lot of COVID restrictions, we'll playing two or three games in a row," he said.
"So you can imagine a lot of fatigue and sore muscles, definitely.
"I think all the teams are in with a chance."
NSW Touch general manager Dean Russell said there was little alternative but to commit to the demanding schedule.
"It's not going to be normal and it's sad we can't have spectators, but what's the alternative? We don't play," he said.