Six Bay of Plenty women have been selected by New Zealand Rugby for a women's 15s emerging players camp in February next year.
Lily Florence, Luka Connor, Jade Tuliepa, Tynealle Fitzgerald, Mererangi Paul and Kiani Tahere will join 37 other players at the camp in Palmerston North on February 2-3 as New Zealand Rugby (NZR) looks to continue building strength and depth in the 15-a-side game.
The squad features an exciting group of young players, including Canterbury's Farah Palmer Cup star fullback Olivia McGoverne and 2018 Youth Olympic Games rugby sevens gold medallists Fitzgerald, Tahere, Hinemoa Watene, Kalyn Takitimu-Cook and Carys Dallinger.
Bay of Plenty's Mererangi Paul won one of three opportunities to attend the Black Ferns Sevens National Development Camp in the New Year during the Red Bull Ignite7 tournament in Auckland, as well as making this squad.
Recently capped Black Ferns players Natahlia Moors, Marcelle Parkes, Monica Tagoai and Ayesha Leti-I'iga and contracted Black Ferns players Joanah Ngan Woo, Kilisitina Moata'ane and Grace Brooker have also all been selected and invited to attend.
Black Ferns assistant coach and development manager Wesley Clarke congratulated the players selected and said camps like this would play an important part in developing potential future international players.
"This camp is about widening our network of upcoming players. We're really excited about the group of players who have been selected and invited to this camp and as coaches we can't wait to get to work with them. Some of the group have been in camps before, but we're looking forward to seeing what everyone brings."
Clarke said the level of talent he and his selectors were seeing had taken a step up.
"We're seeing highly skilled players at younger and younger levels and their technical and tactical knowledge is really sharp. Young girls now see a genuine pathway through to the Olympics and World Cups and they want to be part of it."
Players selected to attend the women's 15s emerging players camp
Natahlia Moors, Hinemoa Watene, Joanna Fanene (Auckland), Lily Florence, Luka Connor, Jade Tuliepa, Tynealle Fitzgerald, Mererangi Paul, Kiani Tahere (Bay of Plenty), Forne Burkin, Alana Bremner, Georgia Ponsonby, Cassie Siataga, Grace Brooker, Grace Steinmetz, Olivia McGoverne, Isabella Waterman (Canterbury), Harono Iringa, Ariana Marino, Emily Kitson, Amorangi Malasala (Counties Manukau), Jessica Pease, Kalyn Takitimu-Cook, Carys Dallinger (Manawatu), Olivia Ward-Duin, Pia Tapsell, Kate Williams (North Harbour), Tegan Hollows, Georgia Mason, Morgan Henderson, Kilisitina Moata'ane (Otago), Tanya Kalounivale, Karli Faneva, Kennedy Simon, Grace Houpapa Barrett, Rina Paraone (Waikato), Isadora Toalima Laupola, Angel Uila, Joanah Ngan Woo, Marcelle Parkes, Monica Tagoai, Ayesha Leti-I'iga, Dhys Faleafaga (Wellington).