September 04, 2020

Farah Palmer Cup Preview | Bay of Plenty Volcanix

The Bay of Plenty Volcanix are stacked with Sevens talent for the Farah Palmer Cup in 2020, with several Black Ferns Sevens players released to play due to the disruptions to the HSBC World Series.

Coaches: Rodney Gibbs (Head coach), Brendon Phillips (Assistant coach)
Position 2019: 5th in Premiership, Chiefs Country Cup Holders

Talking points:
Kelly Brazier, Michaela Blyde, Alena Saili, Mahina Paul and Risaleaana Pouri-Lane will all suit up for the Bay of Plenty Volcanix in the Farah Palmer Cup this year. With 394 World Sevens Series caps between them, they’ll provide a huge boost to this already talented squad. The Black Ferns Sevens players join Black Ferns skipper and new Mum, Les Elder, experienced Black Ferns winger Renee Wickliffe, hooker Luka Connor and Black Ferns contracted player Kelsie Wills.

The Volcanix squad also has some young talent to compliment the vast experience. 11 players in their squad are under 20 year-olds. Ruby Tawa, Brooklyn Teki-Joyce, Hope Parata Kingi, Lisa Egberts and Esra Van Ramele are all in the environment for the first time this year. Former Northern Mystics netball player and Black Ferns Sevens development player Mererangi Paul joins her sister, Mahina, in the squad.

Coach Rodney Gibbs said the group have had to add extra training sessions on top of their club commitments and he has no doubt his team will be very competitive in this year’s competition.

Last year, the Volcanix lifted the Chiefs Country Cup for the first time, with a victory over Waikato. They’ll be determined to hold onto it for another year when they host Waikato on Saturday 19 September at Rotorua International Stadium.

Incoming players
Kelly Brazier, Michaela Blyde, Risaleeana Pouri-Lane, Alena Saili, Mahina Paul, Kiki Tahere

Outgoing players
Christie Yule

Player to watch: Kelsie Wills
Already a member of the Black Ferns contracted squad this year, Kelsie Wills is well and truly on the radar for higher honours. The former beach volleyballer, who represented New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 only started playing rugby last year. She had a breakthrough campaign in 2019 for the Volcanix and she’s expected to be even better this season. With Black Ferns and Auckland Storm lock Charmaine Smith having to retire due to injury earlier this year, Wills certainly has a lot to play for in the Farah Palmer Cup. Especially with the Rugby World Cup on home soil just around the corner.

Bay of Plenty Volcanix squad
Amanda Aldridge, Michaela Blyde, Kelly Brazier, Luka Connor, Natalie Delamere, Lisa Egberts, Les Elder, Karli Faneva, Tynealle Fitzgerald, Hope Garner, Abbey Grainger, Destony Iraia, Baye Jacob, Azalleyah Maaka, Sela Moata’ane, Angel Mulu, Hope Parata-Kingi, Mahina Paul, Mererangi Paul, Risaleeana Pouri-Lane, Kendra Reynolds, Olivia Richardson, Alena Saili, Kiki-Kiani Tahere, Ruby Tawa, Brooklyn Teki-Joyce, Layla Te Riini, Esra Van Ramele, Braxton Walker, Kura Waller, Renee Wickliffe, Kelsie Wills

Bay of Plenty Volcanix draw
Bay of Plenty BYE
Saturday 5 September

North Harbour v Bay of Plenty
Friday 11 September
4.35pm North Harbour Stadium

Bay of Plenty v Waikato*
Saturday 19 September
4.35pm Rotorua Int Stadium

Bay of Plenty v Taranaki*
Saturday 26 September
2pm Blake Park

Auckland v Bay of Plenty
Saturday 3 October
2pm TBC

Counties Manukau v Bay of Plenty*
Saturday 10 October
2.35pm Navigation Homes Stadium

Bay of Plenty v Northland
Saturday 17 October
2pm Blake Park

*Chiefs Country Cup clash

Farah Palmer Cup Preview | Bay of Plenty Volcanix