Bay of Plenty Volcanix coach Rodney Gibbs is looking no further than game one ahead of this season's Farah Palmer Cup competition.

The draw for the competition was released on Tuesday and the Bay of Plenty side will play in the premiership division with home games against Counties Manukau, Auckland and Manawatu and they will travel to play Wellington, Waikato and defending champions Canterbury.

Gibbs, also Bay of Plenty Rugby Union's head of women's performance, says a dedicated performance programme in the Bay is showcasing talent in the region.

Polly Playle of Bay of Plenty makes a break during last season's Farah Palmer Cup match against Taranaki. Photo / Getty Images
Polly Playle of Bay of Plenty makes a break during last season's Farah Palmer Cup match against Taranaki. Photo / Getty Images

"Short of holding aloft the Farah Palmer Cup at the end of year, it is about seeing the development continue. We began this project in November last year and we need to ensure we are growing and where we see that is out on the rugby field," Gibbs says.

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"We are seeing a culture being developed and these girls are keen to be the drivers of that. We have had a junior group of young ladies that train every week and we have training groups in the Mount and Rotorua. The main thing is to develop a group of players we can move forward with over the next few years.

"We live in a geographical environment where we have young ladies who like to play sports and that gives us a good space to work in. Club rugby provides a good platform to get involved in the game."

The premiership will have the top four teams progress to semi-finals and dropping any more than two of the six games makes play-off chances dicey. The Volcanix will want to avoid needing to rely on a big win in the final week when they travel to Christchurch. It means a strong start will be crucial to being in the mix for the playoffs.

The Volcanix placed fifth last year, winning two games. They begin this year's campaign on August 31 against 2018 runners-up Counties Manukau in Tauranga.

"The first one is as far as we need to look," Gibbs says.

"They are all very good teams and there are Black Ferns spread throughout those teams. There are no easy games."

The training squad is around 45 players with Gibbs looking to trim that to around 30 players before week one.

Kendra Reynolds of Bay of Plenty runs in for a try during last season's Farah Palmer Cup competition against Taranaki. Photo / Getty Images
Kendra Reynolds of Bay of Plenty runs in for a try during last season's Farah Palmer Cup competition against Taranaki. Photo / Getty Images

"It is a little hard to say exactly how it will look, you will see a team that evolves through the season. We will have a base plan but we will allow the girls to take it where they want. It will be a collective style of play that will come from how they develop as a team."

Bay of Plenty Rugby Union chief executive Mike Rogers says the home fixtures are a great platform.

"These games are an opportunity to promote the women's game and showcase it in our region. Being able to play games in Whakatāne and Tauranga is an opportunity to show the growth in the women's game. We want to be a leader in the female game and focus on that performance environment, the investment we have made in resource to support the growth is a big investment but it is the right investment."

Rotorua missed out on hosting a game and Rogers says there is a lot that goes into allocation of games.

"The draw and games are a part of it as is trying to work in where possible with the Mitre 10 Cup to get the games broadcast. We also want to share games around region and the afternoon games at Tauranga Domain have proven hugely popular."

The Volcanix will play two pre-season games as they take on Counties Manukau in Tauranga on August 10 and Hawke's Bay in Taupō on August 17.

Bay of Plenty Volcanix Farah Palmer Cup fixtures:
Week 1 vs Counties Manukau at Tauranga Domain, Tauranga - August 31, 2.30pm.
Week 2 vs Wellington at Jerry Collins Stadium, Porirua - September 7, 1pm.
Week 3 vs Auckland at Rugby Park, Whakatane - September 14, 2.30pm.
Week 4 vs Waikato at FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton - September 21, 12.35pm.
Week 5 Bye.
Week 6 vs Manawatu at Tauranga Domain, Tauranga - October 5, 12.35pm.
Week 7 vs Canterbury at Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch - October 13, 2.05pm