Counties Energy Heat team to face Hawkes Bay on Saturday

The Counties Energy Heat welcome back Black Ferns stars Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu and Hazel Tubic for their final match of the 2023 Farah Palmer Cup presented by Bunnings Warehouse.

Marino-Tauhinu and Tubic, both 50-game veterans of the Counties Energy Heat and Black Ferns regulars, will be a welcome addition to the side as they try to finish their campaign on a high.

Marino-Tauhinu’s return sees Leititia Vaka slide over to the bench for this game while Ruby Tui starts on the left wing and Ngatokotoru Arakua at second-five, Mererangi Paul at centre and Shyanne Thompson moving to the bench.

Tubic gets the fullback spot.

Paris Mataroa starts at openside with Utumalama Atonio at blindside while Mau Gautusa is set for her debut off the bench.

Margaret Manase returns to the bench after impressing playing for the Heat Development side in recent weeks.

The Counties Energy Heat face Hawke’s Bay from midday on Saturday at Navigation Homes Stadium.

Counties Energy Heat v Hawke’s Bay: 1. Lauryn Steed, 2. Grace Gago (capt), 3. Harono Te Iringa, 4. Rebecca Burch, 5. Vineta Teutau. 6. Utumalama Atonio, 7. Paris Mataroa, 8. Joanna Fanene-Lolo, 9. Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu, 10. Vic Subritzky-Nafatali, 11. Ruby Tui, 12. Ngatokotoru Arakua (will be playing in jersey 23), 13. Mererangi Paul, 14. Jaymie Kolose, 15. Hazel Tubic. Reserves: Mau Gautusa, Joy Vaaga, Lana Samuelu, Margaret Manase, Ti Tauasosi, Leititia Vaka, Shyanne Thompson, Shonte To’a (will be playing in jersey 12).