When New Zealand hosts the Women's Rugby World Cup in 2021, don't be surprised if you see the Wills name on the back of a Black Ferns jersey.
That's according to Bay of Plenty Volcanix player and Bay of Plenty Rugby Union's women's rugby development officer Kendra Reynolds, who says her regional representative teammate Kelsie Wills is a talent she hasn't come across in the sport.
But Reynolds is no lightweight on the rugby field either. In fact she and Wills, along with fellow Volcanix teammate, Angel Mulu, have been identified as three of New Zealand's brightest up-and-coming women's rugby talent.
They are three of 16 new faces named in a 28-strong Black Ferns Development XV team to play in the 2019 Oceania Rugby Women's Championship in Fiji this month. The squad also includes 12 capped Black Ferns and players from the wider training squad, including a fourth Bay of Plenty rugby player and Black Fern, Luka Connor.
This will be the first time a Black Ferns Development XV side will take part in the Oceania Rugby Women's Championship which includes Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Australia A. The competition kicks off on November 18.
Reynolds says she was looking forward to the opportunity to represent New Zealand in the development squad, news she learned about just before the annual Bay of Plenty Rugby Awards ceremony on October 16, when she and Wills were both recognised. Reynolds won the award for the Volcanix Player of the Year, while Wills was awarded the Volcanix Forward of the Year award.
Reynolds says it was exciting to be able to quietly "high-five" and quietly celebrate with her teammate before the selection was announced.
The loose-forward, who is a powerhouse on the field, says she can't wait to play alongside her friends in Fiji, with plenty of focus going into preparing for Fiji's heat and humidity.
She's not sure of the process following the tournament but will put her best foot forward.
As for Wills, a 2018 Commonwealth Games beach volleyballer who played her first game of 15s rugby this year after giving the sevens and 10s formats a go at the end of last year, Reynolds says she can't remember a new player to have gone through the ranks and make such an impact in the sport in such a short amount of time.
Getting noticed as a high performance female rugby player
All the winners from the annual Bay of Plenty Rugby awards
She expects to "see the Wills name" on the back of a Black Ferns jersey in the near future.
New Zealand Rugby's head of women's rugby Cate Sexton said it was an important opportunity for up-and-coming players to gain valuable international experience and exposure to the Black Ferns environment.
"As women's rugby goes from strength to strength globally we need to make sure we are continuing to develop greater depth at the high performance level. To do this we need to give our top emerging talent opportunities to play other international sides.
"The selected squad is a mix of capped Black Ferns who will build on their international experience, and players from FPC teams who we believe have the potential to step up to the next level."
The Oceania champs provide a pathway for women's rugby in the Pacific with qualifying positions for the 2021 Rugby World Cup available. The Black Ferns and Australia have already qualified for the 2021 Rugby World Cup and will play in pool matches only.
"When we host the 2021 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand we want as many nations as possible to be in a position to be able to send a team to take part. While we want to build depth for our Black Ferns, it's very important to New Zealand Rugby that we support our Oceania neighbours to develop women's rugby in their countries too."
Sexton says the tournament also provides growth for the coaching and management team to build as well.
Coaching the Black Ferns Development XV squad is Waikato's Farah Palmer Cup (FPC) coach Wayne Maxwell as head coach, Canterbury FPC coach Kieran Kite as assistant coach for the backs and Whitney Hansen assistant coach for the forwards. Former Black Fern Amanda Murphy takes up the strength and conditioning coach role, Counties Manukau Steelers' manager Faamoana Leilua will manage the side and Gabrielle McCullough has been appointed the squad's physiotherapist.
The squad (*Capped Black Fern):
Angel Mulu - Bay of Plenty
Kelsie Wills - Bay of Plenty
Kendra Reynolds - Bay of Plenty
Luka Connor* - Bay of Plenty
Joanna Fanene - Auckland
Natahlia Moors* - Auckland
Saphire Abraham - Auckland
Alana Bremner - Canterbury
Amy Rule - Canterbury
Chelsea Bremner - Canterbury
Grace Brooker* - Canterbury
Martha Lolohea - Canterbury
Mel Puckett - Canterbury
Olivia McGoverne - Canterbury
Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu* (Captain) - Counties Manukau
Hazel Tubic* - Counties Manukau
Lisapeta Molia - Counties Manukau
Langi Veainu - Counties Manukau
Leilani Perese* - Counties Manukau
Forne Burkin* - Hawke's Bay
Krysten Cottrell* - Hawke's Bay
Lauren Balsillie - Manawatu
Pia Tapsell* - North Harbour
Eilis Doyle - Otago
Kilisitina Moata'ane* - Otago
Kennedy Simon* - Waikato
Amanda Rasch - Wellington
Joanah Ngan-Woo* - Wellington