Taurua impressed with Ferns' fitness

Noeline Taurua. Photo: Getty Images
Noeline Taurua. Photo: Getty Images
Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua is a stickler for players meeting fitness standards but even she is impressed with what she has witnessed at the team camp in Wellington this week.

Testing has shown the players are reaching their best scores in the yo-yo fitness test for a decade.

Mainland Tactix player Kimiora Poi is the best on show according to Dame Noeline.

The 22-year-old midcourter has been dubbed the "queen" by her coach after reaching a 20 on the test, which is likely to be a personal best.

Earlier in the year Dame Noeline did have some concerns about some players' fitness in the wider New Zealand set-up.

This week she has been able to see Silver Ferns incumbents, development players and the age-group side.

"There is still a few people that are under the target but I'm really happy to say that they have shifted," she said.

"You always put these standards out to put the conditions on and see how people either stand up or don't and actually it comes out to be a bit of a headache for selectors because we have so many to choose from.

"So, really happy about where the standard is physically now we've just got to get that netball brain connected to court strategy out there and obviously the desire."

The Silver Ferns are preparing to resume their battle with the New Zealand men's side in next week's Cadbury Series which also involves games against the New Zealand A side and the New Zealand under-21 team.

Dame Noeline said competition on the practice court had been "quite fierce" as the players return from five weeks off and look to make an impression ahead of the international series against the England Roses.

"It's been quite interesting, I think that's the most exciting thing from a coach point of view, not too sure from a player point of view, but it's not a done deal for those ones who have been here before all the other ones are nipping at their heels so happy about that."

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