Eight Counties Energy Heat players have earned Super Rugby Aupiki contracts for the 2023 season after squads were announced today.
The Chiefs Manawa will boost four players from our region with first-five Mererangi Paul earning her first Super Rugby contract and joining 2022 representatives Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu, Hazel Tubic and Langi Veainu.
Paul was rewarded after a break-out season with the Heat.
Three first-time Super Rugby players will be at the Blues with hooker Grace Gago, prop Joanna Fanene-Lolo and winger Jaymie Kolose earning deals.
Prop Leilani Perese returns to the Hurricanes Paua for a second season.
Black Ferns and Counties Energy Heat star Ruby Tui is yet to confirm her plans for 2023 after a massive season that culminated in winning the Rugby World Cup last week.
“It’s an exciting day today,” said Counties Manukau Rugby Women’s High Performance & Pathways Manager Peter Shaw.
“For our community to read names from Counties Manukau represented across three of the four Super Rugby squads for 2023 is so great for this community, this team and the union.
“We are trending in the right direction with our player pathway into professional contracts. A mix of seasoned professionals and rookies from the Heat who will be entering their respective Super Rugby environments for the very first time.
“We had genuine aspirations for at least 10-12 of our squad to be picked up, and those on the fringes are still working hard on the pitch weekly, on standby for call ups when required.
“A huge congratulations to our players who have been contracted, it should be an exciting competition off the back of a highly entertaining Rugby World Cup. I encourage all people, rugby fans old and new regardless of gender to enjoy Super Rugby Aupiki in 2023.
“There is potential for a Counties Manukau player to feature in every game this season, so even more reason to head along where you can and enjoy summertime running rugby.”
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