Mid Central Vipers look to get their teeth into Wellington to start the season
The Mid Central Vipers women's rugby league team start their national championships campaign this week.
The Manawatu-heavy Vipers squad was announced this week ahead of the national championships in Auckland next weekend.
But first the Vipers have a pre-season game against the Wellington Orcas at Fitzherbert Park on Sunday.
The squad was picked after the Mid Central trials between Manawatu and Hawke's Bay.
Taranaki were unable to field a team for the trials, so because they didn't trial, their players are ineligible for the national championships.
There are 15 players in the squad from Manawatu and nine from Hawke's Bay.
Included in the team is Black Ferns rugby player Janna Vaughan, as well as a handful of players who have played for the Manawatu Cyclones rugby team.
The Vipers finished fourth last year, having third and second the two previous years.
John Tuala is the coach again.
The national tournament is held over three days, where there are three games on the opening day, two on the second day, then playoffs on the third.
Mid Central Vipers women: Corrineke Windle (Manawatu), MaKenzie McKay (Manawatu), Nina Tangira (Manawatu), Chanel Huddleston (Hawke's Bay), Ruci Malanicagi (Manawatu), Sammy McIntosh (Manawatu), Sylvia Bockman (Hawke's Bay), Awhina Wainohu (Hawke's Bay), Janna Vaughan (Manawatu), Rikki Rawleigh (Manawatu), Mahalia Polson (Manawatu), Jayme Nuku (Manawatu), Ruth Tietie (Manawatu), Lee Arna Nepia (Manawatu), Abby Collier (Hawke's Bay), Laurae Blake (Hawke's Bay), Lisa Kenny (Manawatu), Briya Brown (Manawatu), Morgan Findlay (Manawatu), Katie Steele (Manawatu), Jaimee Robin (Hawke's Bay), Lara Kendrick (Hawke's Bay), Jess Bennett (Hawke's Bay), Te Aroha Papanui-Hunt (Hawke's Bay).