Crampton biggest omission from Ferns

Gina Crampton was the biggest omission from the Silver Ferns' squad named today. Photo: Getty Images
Gina Crampton was the biggest omission from the Silver Ferns' squad named today. Photo: Getty Images
Silver Ferns coach Janine Southby has named an extended 14-strong squad for the January Quad Series - but there still wasn't room for one recent frontline player.

Gina Crampton was the main casualty from today's naming, with the Steel midcourter and young Magic shooter Monica Falkner the only two members from the wider squad not to make the cut for next month's tour.

Recently married midcourter Grace Kara (nee Rasmussen) has replaced Crampton in the line-up, joining athletic in-circle defender Phoenix Karaka in making a return after missing October's Constellation Cup series.

Kara is not the only new name, but familiar face, in the line-up. The shooting end will feature Maria Folau, nee Tutaia, after the Ferns vice captain wed Australian rugby star Israel Folau in the off-season.

Young midcourter Whitney Souness and Jane Watson have secured their spots in the touring party. Dynamic midcourter Souness missed the Australian leg of the Constellation Cup for family reasons and was replaced by defender Watson.

Steel duo Shannon Francois and Te Paea Selby-Rickit were both named in the team.

"This is a big tour in terms of the travel with short turnarounds between flying from New Zealand, playing in England and then on to South Africa," Silver Ferns coach Janine Southby said.

"For that reason we are travelling with 14. This will enable us to continue to develop and build depth and combinations across the squad.

"The Commonwealth Games [in April] is the immediate focus but we're also mindful the 2019 Netball World Cup is not that far away either and the more time we get with our athletes and continuing to fine-tune their readiness and preparation is all part of the bigger picture.''

After winning the most recent edition of a closely-contested Netball Quad Series in September, the Silver Ferns can expect an equally challenging tournament as the gap at the top of world netball narrows.

With Commonwealth Games spots up for grabs, the Netball Quad Series presents the last opportunity for players from the Silver Ferns, Australian Diamonds, England Roses and South African Proteas to press their claims ahead of teams being named for the Gold Coast event.

Silver Ferns Squad for Netball Quad Series:
Katrina Grant (c), Maria Folau (nee Tutaia) (vc), Kayla Cullen, Temalisi Fakahokotau
Shannon Francois, Kelly Jury, Grace Kara (nee Rasmussen), Phoenix Karaka, Bailey Mes, Te Paea Selby-Ricket, Samantha Sinclair, Whitney Souness, Jane Watson, Maia Wilson.

Add a Comment