Silver Ferns name dual squads for Constellation Cup

Friday 07 October 2022

Silver Ferns name dual teams for Constellation Cup

Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua has named two different teams for this month’s Constellation Cup against the Australian Diamonds, as players continue to impress ahead of next year’s Netball World Cup.

Nine players, including captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio, have been named to compete in all four Tests against Australia, with two matches opening the series in New Zealand with the other two to be played in Australia.

Midcourters Mila Reuelu-Buchanan and Peta Toeava, along with defender Sulu Fitzpatrick will join the side for the Test at Spark Arena in Auckland on 12 October and Trustpower Baypark Arena in Tauranga on 16 October.

New Silver Fern Elle Temu, who made her debut last month against Jamaica, has been added to the team to travel to Australia as well as midcourt duo Maddy Gordon and Kimiora Poi for the Tests at John Cain Arena in Melbourne on 19 October and the Gold Coast Convention Centre on 23 October.

The two long-time rivals did not meet at August’s Commonwealth Games - the last meeting in January during the Netball Quad Series in England, with the Diamonds coming out on top.

Taurua said she was looking forward to another traditionally fierce series against Australia.

“We understand the importance of giving our elite athletes as many opportunities as possible ahead of next year’s Netball World Cup, but we also know we’ll need to bring our best against the Diamonds with the goal of defending the Constellation Cup,” she said.

“This is the test we have been focussed on and I’m wanting to see the players consolidate the team strategies we have been working on and make the most of time on court against the Commonwealth Games gold medalists.”

There will also be plenty of movement on the management bench with Yvette McCausland-Durie to act as an assistant coach on both legs while Debbie Fuller will be an assistant for the two matches in New Zealand. Jane Woodlands-Thompson will replace Fuller for the Australian leg of the Constellation Cup.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to get a number of eyes on our players and for me to seek input from various sources who can add something different,” Taurua said.

The Silver Ferns last played for the Constellation Cup in March 2021 when the hosts won three of four Tests played in Christchurch, ending a nine-year drought in the trans-Tasman rivalry.

Tickets for the New Zealand leg of the 2022 Constellation Cup, played as part of the Cadbury Netball Series, are still available for the series opener at Spark Arena in Auckland while match two in Tauranga is sold out. All matches will be broadcast live on Sky Sport.

Silver Ferns – Constellation Cup:

Ameliaranne Ekenasio (captain)

Sulu Fitzpatrick (NZ leg)

Maddy Gordon (Australian leg)

Kate Heffernan

Kayla Johnson

Kelly Jury

Phoenix Karaka

Grace Nweke

Kimiora Poi (Australian leg)

Mila Reuelu-Buchanan (NZ leg)

Te Paea Selby-Rickit

Whitney Souness

Peta Toeava (NZ leg)

Elle Temu (Australian leg)

Maia Wilson