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Silver Ferns Development Squad trio added for England series

The Silver Ferns have turned to their Silver Ferns Development Squad to help bolster ranks ahead of next week’s opening Test of the Cadbury Netball Series against the England Roses.

Defenders Georgia Tong (Magic) and Paris Lokotui (Pulse), along with midcourter Kimiora Poi (Tactix) will assemble with the Silver Ferns squad in Christchurch on Thursday ahead of the three-Test series, with the two teams playing for the Taini Jamison Trophy.

The Silver Ferns are still waiting to hear regarding exemptions for four Auckland-based players.

Newly appointed captain Gina Crampton, vice-captain Sulu Fitzpatrick, shooter Grace Nweke and midcourter Peta Toeava are all in Auckland and yet to join the rest of the squad.

Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua said they made the decision to include the three Silver Ferns Development Squad members now to give them time to train with the team and they would remain with the side, as part of an extended squad, should the quartet in Auckland be granted a dispensation to travel.

“It was really important to us to give a full squad as much time as possible to train together,” she said.

“This is an opportunity for Georgia, Kimi and Paris to showcase the form that we’ve seen from them during the ANZ Premiership and I know they will ensure the competition for starting spots remains strong.

“We have a limited build up but I think we’re going to see a true test in character of this Silver Ferns squad and we are grateful to have the opportunity to play these Test matches.”

Poi was part of the side which won the Constellation Cup against Australia earlier this year and can cover both centre and wing attack while Lokotui, who has already represented New Zealand in three different sports including netball (NZU21), basketball and water polo, debuted for the Pulse last year and has impressed with a strong defensive game this season.

Tong has also made the most of her opportunities this season, in her third year with the Magic, and the defender is well known for her athletic ability and strength in the air.

Taurua said she was looking forward to seeing what the three players would bring to the Silver Ferns environment.

The Silver Ferns play the first of three Tests against England on Monday night with the remainder of the series to be played on Wednesday 22 and Friday, 24 September.