Ferns to play NZ competition

The Silver Ferns' international schedule is uncertain for 2020. Photo: Getty Images
The world champion Silver Ferns will play a series against other New Zealand teams. Photo: Getty Images
The world champion Silver Ferns and New Zealand Men are set to go head-to-head again.

The four-day Cadbury Netball Series, which will include the Silver Ferns, the New Zealand Men, an NZ A side and the New Zealand Under 21s, will officially go ahead at Fly Palmy Arena in Palmerston North from 21-24 October.

Netball NZ Chief Executive Jennie Wyllie said she was looking forward to the series which had proven such a pivotal event last year.

"We're delighted to be able to confirm this series in such challenging and uncertain times," she said.

"The Cadbury Netball Series played such a big role in the Silver Ferns build-up to last year's successful Netball World Cup campaign and it will be instrumental again looking ahead to international games later this year."

Wyllie said the series would showcase the best netballers in the country going head-to-head while also mindful that the competition would play a part in the NZ U21 team's preparation for next year's Netball World Youth Cup in Fiji.

"This is an opportunity to see our elite athletes competing against each other and what better way for our Under 21 players to prepare for their pinnacle tournament than by taking on the best in the world," she said.

Silver Ferns head coach Dame Noeline Taurua said the Cadbury Netball Series was another opportunity to grow their game.

"We need to stay ahead of the opposition so we can't bask in the glory of last year's Netball World Cup," Taurua said.

"We need to keep challenging ourselves and growing our game both on and off the court - we can't afford to be complacent."

Taurua said she was looking forward to growing and developing the next level of players.

"This is not only for South Africa [Netball World Cup in 2023], but the cycle beyond," she said.

"While we want to continue with that explosive game and high tempo netball, we need to be patient and make sure we are growing the capability of our athletes at the rate they can handle it."

The new Silver Ferns squad, which was announced last month, will go into camp next month to prepare.

Plans for an international series are progressing as NNZ continues to work with the New Zealand Government to meet the requirements to safely host an international series later this year.

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