Inspirational Black Ferns Sevens skipper Sarah Hirini will lead the Hurricanes Poua squad, with Black Ferns captain Les Elder to skipper the Chiefs Manawa.
Black Ferns loose forward Aroha Savage is at the helm of the Blues, while recent Black Fern debutant Alana Bremner will be the first ever captain of Matatū.
Hirini, who was named last year’s Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Player of the Year at the ASB Rugby Awards, said she was thrilled to have the opportunity to lead the first ever Hurricanes Poua team.
“It’s a huge honour to be named captain of the Hurricanes Poua. I’m so grateful to play for the region I grew up in and the club I’ve supported for a very long time, alongside some really talented women.”
Bremner described the captaincy for Matatū as a huge privileged, and a special opportunity to support a new legacy.
“With Matatū being a brand-new team, it’s the first group of wāhine to represent the South Island as a whole for a Super Rugby competition. It’s a proud moment for the team and all who have helped to build the foundations of this club, which carries so much meaning.”
Elder will lead the Chiefs Manawa for a second time, having captained them in their first match against the Blues last year.
“To be able to continue from that and actually sink our teeth into a bit of work on what we want to create in the jersey and how we want to start this legacy makes it a lot more special. We’ve done some great work for far and the girls are really excited to create something special for the future of our jersey,” said Elder.
"My first emotion was actually honour. It's a massive thing to be a captain of a team. I feel like there is a lot of pressure on me but there isn't. They are a good bunch of girls, we connected straight away from the first camp and I feel like they will make my job quite easy."
It was announced earlier this week that the four Sky Super Rugby Aupiki teams will relocate to Taupō to ensure the inaugural season of the competition can take place.
The competition will be played in a condensed format with matches being played on Saturday 5 March, Thursday 10 March, Tuesday 15 March and the Final on Sunday 20 March.
Squads will operate in separate bubbles with exclusive use of training facilities in the Taupō area, with the opening round matches to be played at Taupō’s Owen Delany Park. The two mid-week evening rounds and the final will be played the FMG Stadium Waikato.
The first three rounds will all be played as double-headers and all matches will be broadcast on Sky Sport and Prime. Whilst the country is in the red traffic light setting, no crowds will be allowed at matches.
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