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Silver Ferns make changes for Nations Cup

Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua has made three changes to her side ahead of next month’s Vitality Netball Nations Cup in England.

The world champions depart for the tournament, where they will meet Jamaica, South Africa and England, without experienced duo in captain Laura Langman and Katrina Rore, who will take a sabbatical break from the upcoming Nations Cup after coming off a heavy workload this season.

Also to miss the tour will be Silver Ferns assistant coach Deb Fuller, Silver Ferns team manager Esther Molloy, Strength & Conditioning Lead Stephen Hotter and Team Doctor Melinda Parnell who are unavailable after a busy 2019 Netball season.

Joining the side for the Nations Cup will be former Silver Fern Gail Parata, who has been confirmed as the touring assistant coach, while shooter Maia Wilson and midcourters Whitney Souness and Kimiora Poi have been recalled into the national side for the tournament which begins against the host nation in Nottingham on January 19.

Taurua said the Nations Cup was an opportunity for the selected athletes to make an impression against world class opponents.

“We are losing a lot of experience without Laura, Katrina and Maria, but it is a great chance to see what this next wave of Silver Ferns can bring to our game in the spotlight of International Test Netball,” she said.

“We have some different faces in the side for this campaign but it is important that we set the bar high and keep building towards those targets.”

Langman and Rore were part of the Silver Ferns Netball World Cup campaign and also competed in the Suncorp Super Netball league in Australia along with the October Constellation Cup against the Diamonds.

Taurua said they had to consider player welfare and the longevity of the two players when planning ahead.

Meanwhile, Parata’s inclusion brings another set of eyes into the mix with the former midcourter having returned home to New Zealand recently after six years coaching the Scottish Thistles national team.

Parata said she was excited about the chance to work with the world champion Silver Ferns alongside Taurua.

"I was delighted to be asked by Noeline to be her assistant for the Northern Quad series. What I aim to bring is my experience from coaching in the international scene and my experience of working in the UK Netball system for the past six years."

Taurua, who called on the expertise of Yvonne Willering and Jane Woodlands-Thompson earlier this year, said Parata would bring plenty of international experience to the table having worked with Scotland for six years.

“Gail’s done great things with Scotland in that time and, like Yvonne and Jane, she will bring something different into the Silver Ferns mix,” she said.

The Silver Ferns play the England Roses in Nottingham on January 19 followed by the Jamaican Sunshine Girls (January 22 in Birmingham) and SPAR Proteas (January 25 in London). 

The final of the Vitality Netball Nations Cup is in London on January 26.

Silver Ferns Team
Vitality Netball Nations Cup

Bailey Mes
Ameliaranne Ekenasio
Te Paea Selby-Rickit
Maia Wilson
Gina Crampton
Shannon Saunders
Kimiora Poi
Whitney Souness
Karin Burger
Phoenix Karaka
Michaela Sokolich-Beatson
Jane Watson

Reserve: Samantha Sinclair

*Maria Folau has retired from all Netball