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Silver Ferns team named to take on Australian Diamonds

National Selectors have named a squad of 14 for next month’s four-match Constellation Cup against the Australian Diamonds, played as part of the Cadbury Netball Series.

The squad includes shooter Bailey Mes, who returns from injury, and midcourter Maddy Gordon who could make her Silver Ferns debut during the 2021 Cadbury Netball Series which includes back to back Tests in Christchurch and Tauranga from 2-7 March.

Head coach Dame Noeline Taurua 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.

Taurua has opted for a heavy midcourt presence and is 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.

Mes, who is looking to add to her 70 Test caps, 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 the Christchurch Arena on 2 and 3 March while the Trustpower Baypark Arena in Tauranga hosts two matches on 6 and 7 March.

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Silver Ferns - Constellation Cup

Ameliaranne Ekenasio
Monica Falkner
Bailey Mes
Maia Wilson

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

Karin Burger
Sulu Fitzpatrick
Jane Watson