New Counties Power Heat coach JP Faamausili has announced his squad for the 2021 Farah Palmer Cup that starts this week.
The former Auckland Storm women’s coach takes over the reins from Chad Shepherd this year, with Shepherd continuing to concentrate on his high-performance manager role with the Union.
A total of 16 players out of the triumphant Manurewa side, who won the Auckland Premier Women’s competition this season, have been included with 11 players from Ardmore Marist and five from Papakura.
Black Ferns star Hazel Tubic looms as a key player from the pivotal first-five position and has been confirmed as the team’s captain for 2021.
Former Heat player and Black Ferns representative Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate re-joins the side after spending two seasons with Northland.
The side suffered a blow with Lanulangi Veainu missing the start of the campaign as she works her way back from a concussion while fellow Black Fern Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu suffered a season-ending injury during the end of the club season and is not going to be available for the Heat at all in 2021.
Tubic, Shyanne Thompson, Leilani Perese and Harono Te Iringa played in the first ever Women’s Super Rugby match when they represented the Chiefs.
There are nine new caps including some talented youngsters in their first season out of high school. Winger Dayna Moon (Howick College) and lock Louise Taelega (Manurewa High School) are two players to watch.
Manurewa winger Taina Halasima is a former Tongan sprint champion and will be an exciting prospect on the end of the back-line this season.
Faamausili will be aiming to get the best out of a talented young squad over the next couple of months.
“There is a lot of talent among this group and my challenge will be to harness that and put it together with a game plan that will help us be successful,” Faamausili said.
“The team was disappointed with how their 2020 season finished earlier than planned and they are driven to take some extra steps forward this season.
“There are a number of players from the Manurewa side that won the Auckland Premier competition and that certainly gives us some impetus but there are players from other clubs that we expect will contribute significantly this season as well on the back of good club seasons.”
The Bayleys Heat start their campaign with a road trip to Christchurch to face Canterbury on Saturday.
2021 Counties Power Heat
Ardmore Marist: Utumalama Atonio, Rebecca Burch, Kataraina Enosa-Taifau, Emily Kitson, Larissa Henwood, Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, Louise Taelega, Shyanne Thompson, Shonte To’a, Leititia Vaka, Lanulangi Veainu.
Manurewa: Shaye Adams, Glory Aiono, Jacqui Aiono, Waikohika Flesher, Taina Halasima, Zion Leaupepe, Cathy Leuta, Anastasia Mamea, Dayna Moon, Leilani Perese, Ti Tauasosi, Amiria Te Iringa, Harono Te Iringa, Cortez Te Pou, Hazel Tubic (captain), Aeron Warbrooke.
Papakura: Teuila Aumua, Stacey Brown, Shannon Muru, Wendy Savieti, Ocean Tierney.
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