It’s going to be a huge campaign this year. With the Black Ferns schedule still uncertain for the remainder of 2020, the Farah Palmer Cup will essentially be a trial for Black Ferns hopefuls ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Here are the fixtures for the opening week of the competition.
Waikato v Northland Kauri
Saturday 5 September, 12.30pm
Waikato University Rugby Club, Hamilton
In their second season of the Farah Palmer Cup, the Kauri will be looking to stamp their mark on the competition. The Kauri have named an exciting squad in 2020 but face a big challenge first up from a Waikato side in Hamilton who will be lead expertly by playmaker Tenika Willison at first five and world class prop Toka Natua up front.
1: Toka Natua 2: Grace Houpapa-Barrett 3: Tanya Kalounivale 4: Daeja-Bernice Kaponga 5: Chyna Hohepa 6: Sina Hetet 7: Emma-Lee Heta 8: Kennedy Simon 9: Ariana Bayler 10: Tenika Willison 11: Manaia Nuku 12: Chelsea Alley 13: Makaia Riki-Te Kanawa 14: Hannah Brough 15: Renee Holmes
Reserves: Merania Paraone, Esther Tilo-Faiaoga, Mia Anderson, Ashlee Gaby-Sutherland, Cheyelle Robin-Reti, Kiriana Nolan, Kelsey Teneti
Counties Manukau Heat v North Harbour Hibiscus
Saturday 5 September, 2.35pm
Navigation Homes Stadium, Pukekohe
Live on Sky Sport
Having won the inaugural Farah Palmer Cup title in 2016, the Counties Manukau Heat will be determined to stop Canterbury in their tracks as they go for a four-peat this year. But before they worry about Canterbury they have a composed looking North Harbour Hibiscus side to worry about on Saturday afternoon. While Counties boast plenty of well-known names, the Hibiscus come north across the Harbour Bridge with some firepower of their own, including the impressive Pia Tapsell at No.8.
Counties Manukau Heat:
1: Shaye Adams 2: Grace Gago 3: Aotearoa Matau 4: Amiria Te Iringa 5: Rebecca Burch 6: Ilasapeti Molia 7: Larissa Lima E Silva 8: Harono Te Iringa 9: Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu 10: Hazel Tubic 11: Waikohika Flesher 12: Mele Hufanga 13: Shyanne Thompson 14: Ruby Tui 15: Emily Kitson
Reserves: Cathy Leuta, Katofoekina, Glory Aiono, Stacey Brown, Letitia Vaka, Utumalama Atonio, Azania Watene
North Harbour Hibiscus:
1: Jay Jay Taylor 2: Amy Robertshaw 3: Olivia Ward-Duin 4: Manutalaaho Huni 5: Clementine Varea 6: Tenaija Fletcher 7: Kate Williams 8: Pia Tapsell 9: Tamea Te Rauna 10: Olivia Waldron 11: Lose Mafi 12: Zakiya Kereopa 13: Mikayla Robinson 14: Mollie Tagaloa 15: Hayley Hutana
Reserves: Lynn Koelmann, Toakase Filimoehala, Danjela Haigh, Brooke Ellison, Hailey Beale, Danielle Mellow, Renee Adams
Taranaki Whio v Auckland Storm
Sunday 6 September, 12pm
TET Stadium & Events Centre, Inglewood
The Auckland Storm will be looking to go one better in 2020, having fallen just short to Canterbury last year. Taranaki have a new coaching set up this year and the services of Black Ferns Sevens playmaker Gayle Broughton who will add plenty to their already dynamic attack. Expect a free-flowing game in Inglewood between two of the more expansive teams in the competition.
1: Leah Barnard 2: Donia King 3: Kate Thomson 4: Sharee Brown 5: Victoria McCollough 6: Catriona Tulloch 7: Chelsea Fowler 8: Tiana Davidson 9: Iritana Hohaia 10: Gayle Broughton 11: Chole Sampson 12: Kaya-Rose Kahui 13: Paige Neilson 14: Sharniqua Weston-Jacobson 15: Danielle Muggeridge
Reserves: Bronte Gorham, Tami Wilkinson, Aliena Wallis, Alicia Manuiriangi, Nattie Haupapa, Kelsyn McCook, Lyn Smith