Silver Ferns side for Constellation Cup series named

Silver Ferns shooter Bailey Mes will be back in black. Photo: Getty Images
Silver Ferns shooter Bailey Mes will be back in black. Photo: Getty Images
Silver Ferns' coach Dame Noeline Taurua has named a midcourt-heavy squad of 14 to take on the Australian Diamonds for next week's four-Test Constellation Cup series.

Shooter Bailey Mes has been recalled to the side for the series after a long return from injury. Her last appearance was at the Nations Cup in London last January, where she picked up the MVP.

However, a couple of the squads more senior players are missing. Shooter Te Paea Selby-Rickit and defender Kelly Jury, who played in the series against England late last year, have not been named.

Both players have had fitness struggles.

Dame Noeline sent five players home from a training camp last month, when they didn't meet the fitness standards.

It means the Silver Ferns will only take three specialist defenders into the series, while seven midcourters have been named including potential debutant Maddy Gordon.

Dame Noeline said the timing and nature of the series, as both teams build towards Commonwealth Games in 2022, and Netball World Cup in 2023, meant she wanted to take a bigger squad from which she would pick a team of 12 before each match.

She said she was excited about what she has seen in the build-up to the Constellation Cup.

"Silver Ferns and New Zealand netball is laden with amazing midcourt players at the moment. They all have a point of difference and they all are impressively fit and hard workers. There will be a time when somebody would have to be dropped because of numbers. That time is not now, as we continue to build depth in 2022 and provide opportunities to the extended squad," she said.

Gordon, who made the Silver Ferns squad late last year after a sensational ANZ Premiership, is the only player in the side yet to make her international debut.

The 70 Test cap veteran Mes returns to the shooting circle after a lengthy injury layoff which saw the world champion undergo knee surgery after she damaged it at the Netball Nations Cup in London last year.

The series marks the first time in over a year since the World No. 1 Australian Diamonds played an international Test which Taurua said added to the excitement of the traditional trans-Tasman rivalry.

"I know the Diamonds will be excited to get back out on court after such a long break from playing international netball. We are equally excited to play all four Tests against the world number one netball team on our home soil in front of our home crowd.

"It's series like these, against our long-time rivals, which really showcases the best netball ever."

The first two Tests will be played at Christchurch Arena on March 2 and 3 while the Trustpower Baypark Arena in Tauranga hosts two matches on March 6 and 7.

Silver Ferns - Constellation Cup

Shooters

Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Monica Falkner, Bailey Mes, Maia Wilson

Midcourters

Maddy Gordon, Gina Crampton, Claire Kersten, Kimiora Poi, Shannon Saunders, Whitney Souness, Samantha Winders

Defenders

Karin Burger, Sulu Fitzpatrick, Jane Watson

 

 

 

 

 

 

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