Silver Ferns make changes for Taini Jamison Trophy
Wilson, who has seven Test Caps, has been included in the side with shooters Ameliaranne Ekenasio and vice-captain Maria Folau both to be managed through the four-day series which starts in Auckland’s North Shore on Wednesday.
Kersten, who made her Silver Ferns debut last year, is also a late inclusion into the team as cover for wing defence Kayla Cullen who has been ruled out with a knee injury.
The Silver Ferns face a busy playing schedule for the prestigious Trophy when they take on the Malawi Queens, Jamaica Sunshine Girls and Fiji Pearls before a finals day on Saturday.
Ekenasio, who was recalled into the national team after taking time away from the game to start a family, has suffered a finger injury in the build-up to the Taini Jamison Trophy series while Folau continues her comeback from a niggling knee complaint.
Cullen will also sit out the four-day series due to an injury to her knee and will be monitored by the Silver Ferns’ medical team over the next two weeks. She is expected to make a full recovery in time for next month’s Commonwealth Games.
Silver Ferns coach Janine Southby said it was a precautionary move to bring Wilson and Kersten into the side as they wanted to take no chances with the minor niggles hampering the two shooters and Cullen.
“We’ve got a heavy workload over the coming weeks and while the Taini Jamison Trophy is an incredibly important part of our season, we are also looking at the bigger picture of a demanding Commonwealth Games campaign next month,” she said.
“Maia has been in the environment before and we feel confident she can make a seamless transition back into the shooting circle while Claire made her debut last year and also knows our systems well.
“It’s disappointing to have these injury setbacks we want to make sure all three are at full fitness when we head to the Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games,” Southby said.
The Taini Jamison Trophy series is the final hit-out for the Silver Ferns ahead of the Commonwealth Games which start on April 4.
Silver Ferns Squad:
Katrina Grant (captain),
Maria Folau (vice-captain),
Te Paea Selby-Rickit