Super Rugby Aupiki: Chiefs women unveil new identity for inaugural 2022 competition

The Chiefs women's rugby team will be known as the 'Manawa' in next year's inaugural Super Rugby Aupiki competition.

Derived from the words 'mana' and 'wāhine', the new identity was created by a process led by coach Allan Bunting, along with men's coach Clayton McMillan, NZ Rugby Māori cultural advisor Luke Crawford and several women's players.

"We were really fortunate to catch up with Clayton, because it was important for us to know the deeper story behind the Chiefs and 'Chiefs mana'," says Bunting.

"It was important for our name to come from within the Chiefs story, but also hold an opportunity for us to create our own identity, something to make our own and to be really special moving forward. 

"It is a name at the moment, but how we behave on and off the field will truly make that name."

Chiefs chief executive Michael Collins describes the branding as a "proud and historic moment" for the team.

"We know the narrative will continue to grow and our 'Mana Wāhine' will install pride in the name… connect with their new identity and bring the name to life," says Collins.

The competition's South Island team has been named Matatū, which is an instructive command to remain steadfast, alert and ready to take on any challenge.

The Chiefs will enter the tournament as firm favourites, with a powerful line-up of Black Ferns, including Portia Woodman, Ruby Tui and Chelsea Alley among the 20 internationals in their squad.

The competition begins in March with a single round of games between the four teams, before a final in March.