Bay of Plenty Volcanix head coach Brendon Webby and assistant coaches Zane Winslade and Mike Lewis have named their Mitre 10 Farah Palmer Cup Squad for 2018.
The Volcanix will play in the Premiership after successfully winning the 2017 Farah Palmer Cup Championship final at Blake Park in October.
While it will be challenge moving into the Premiership, this year's squad provides a positive mix of experienced and youthful players, including a number of notably talented athletes with the inclusion of Black Ferns Les Elder and Renee Wickliffe as well as New Zealand Under-18 Sevens player Tynealle Fitzgerald.
The Volcanix will take to the field next weekend when they play the Game of Three Halves featuring the Black Ferns and Auckland Storm in the first of their two pre-season fixtures.
Their second pre-season fixture will be in Pukekohe against 2017 Farah Palmer Cup runner-ups Counties Manukau.
The Volcanix premiership campaign officially kicks off on September 1 at the Tauranga Domain against 2017 Premiership champions Canterbury.
Webby believed the selected group of athletes would proudly represent the Bay as they stepped up into the Premiership division.
"We are exceptionally excited about being in the premiership this year and the challenges that will bring. We have picked a squad with a good mix of experience and youth.
"It has been great to see the development of the Baywide Women's club rugby competition and thereby the significant improvement in the quality of rugby being played. As a result this has provided some healthy competition for positions," he said.
"We have a strong core group who have been steadily working in the gym along, with field trainings - in addition to their club responsibilities - and we believe this will bode us well for our campaign," he said.
Bay of Plenty Rugby Union chief executive Mike Rogers said the Volcanix were at the forefront of the union's aspirations to be an innovative leader in women's rugby.
"We are proud of the progress the Volcanix have made and this is a credit to all our people involved in the women's game. The Volcanix are a flagship for us to promote the game.
"Stepping up to the Premiership division will be a great challenge but it is one we, as a union, are looking forward to. I know the team will be very motivated to do the Bay proud and give it their all."
Bay of Plenty Volcanix 2018 Farah Palmer Cup Squad
Rangataua: Bree Meyer, Jade Tuilaepa, Joy Benioni, Kate Henwood, Kura Hudson, Lesley Elder, Olivia Richardson, Renee Holmes, Renee Wickliffe, Tracey Lemon, Zoe Wilson. Rangiuru: Amanda Aldridge, Anahera Mohi, Angel Mulu, Baye Jacob, Braxton Walker, Calli Perrott, Christie Yule, Kendra Reynolds, Kororia Heyblom, Mystery Mclean Kora, Ora Williams, Rawinia Luka, Sapphire Tapsell, Tynealle Fitzgerald. Rotoiti: Emily Magee, Polly Playle. Whakarewarewa: Christine Corbett, Hana Tapiata, Lily Florence, Tania-Rose Raharuhi, Te Rina Mohi. Waimana: Mikyla Wardlaw. Not considered due to injury: Luka Connor, Aryhan Clarke.
Bay of Plenty Volcanix Pre-Season Draw
Game of Three Halves: Black Ferns v Bay of Plenty Volcanix v Auckland Storm
Date: Saturday, August 11
Location: Tauranga Domain, Tauranga
Cost: Free Entry
Bay of Plenty Volcanix v Counties Manukau Heat
Date: Saturday, August 25
Location: Massey Park, Papakura
Bay of Plenty Volcanix Mitre 10 Farah Palmer Cup Draw
Week 1 v Canterbury at Tauranga Domain, Tauranga – Saturday, September 1, 11.30am
Week 2 v Waikato at Matata Rugby Club – Saturday, September 8, 2.45pm
Week 3 v Manawatu at Central Energy Trust Arena, Palmerston North – Saturday, September 15, 1pm
Week 4 v Taranaki at Rotorua International Stadium – Friday, September 21, 5.05pm
Week 5 v Auckland at Eden Park, Auckland – Friday, September 28, 5.05pm
Week 6 v Counties Manukau at Massey Park, Papakura – Saturday, October 6, 2.30pm
Semifinals: Saturday, October 13
Finals: Saturday, October 20