Counties Energy Heat team to face Bay of Plenty on Saturday

Counties Energy Heat team to face Bay of Plenty on Saturday

Counties Energy Heat coach Saua Leaupepetele has named two players to make their debuts in the side’s Farah Palmer Cup presented by Bunnings Warehouse season opener against Bay of Plenty on Saturday at Navigation Homes Stadium.

Alana Grace has been named to start her first match in the FPC on the left wing while Vineta Teutau is set to come off the bench for what would be her first match for the Heat.

Black Ferns hooker Grace Gago is listed to start off the bench as she returns from international duty, with Lulu Leuta starting at hooker, while former Black Ferns first-five Vic Subritzky-Nafatali is given the number 10 jumper.

Shyanne Thompson captains the side from the centre, standing in for Gago and Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu, while Blues utility Jaymie Kolose is picked at fullback.

Subritzky-Nafatali, second-five Shonte To’a and bench halfback Azania Watene will be presented with their blazers after the game.

The Volcanix lost their opening match of the season last weekend against Waikato while the Heat had an opening round bye.

“We have selected an experienced squad of 23. who are excited for tomorrow's game,” said Leaupepetele. “Their energy is amplified coming off a bye in week 1 of the competition.”

Black Ferns stars Mererangi Paul and Marino-Tauhinu are unavailable this week while Hazel Tubic, Langi Veainu, Lauryn Steed and Ti Tauasosi are all working their way back from injury.

The game kicks off at 4.35pm.

Counties Energy Heat: 1. Anastasia Mamea, 2. Lulu Leuta, 3. Harono Te Iringa, 4. Rebecca Burch, 5. Paris Mataroa, 6. Utumalama Atonio, 7. Stacey Brown, 8. Joanna Fanene-Lolo, 9. Leititia Vaka, 10. Vic Subritzky-Nafatali, 11. Alana Grace, 12. Shonte To’a, 13. Shyanne Thompson (capt), 14. Waikohika Flesher, 15. Jaymie Kolose. Reserves: Grace Gago, Lana Samuelu, Vineta Teutau, Margaret Manase, Emily Kitson, Azania Watene, Ngatokotoru Arakua, Kataraina Enosa-Taifau.