Blasts from the past for the Silver Ferns

By Te Ao - Māori News

Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua has called in some familiar faces for the upcoming World Championship squad.

Midcourter Shannon Saunders (Francois), shooter Bailey Mes and defender Phoenix Karaka, were all confirmed as part of the side after being out for over a year. But the biggest redemption story is that of former captain and centurion Katrina Rore, who had been cut from the squad for January's Quad Series in England, the Ferns' last tournament.

Rore’s Pulse team mates Karin Burger and Ameliaranne Ekanasio join her in the side as well, which is captained by 151-test veteran Laura Langman.

The tournament will also be a swansong for long-serving defender Casey Kopua, who is due to retire at the end of this season.

One name missing that had been bandied about as a likely selection was Pulse shooter Aliyah Dunn, who is currently the most accurate shooter in the ANZ Netball Premiership with a 92 percent season average. The selection of Mes over Dunn is surely going to raise some scrutiny on the Mystics player, however Taurua was confident she’s made the right call.

“At the end, it was about getting the person that could do the job.” said Taurua.

“That’s what it’s all about, because if you can’t, you’re going to put pressure on the rest of the unit.”

Silver Ferns squad for the Netball World Championships, 12-21 July, Liverpool:

Shooters: Maria Folau, Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Te Paea Selby-Rickit, Bailey Mes.

Midcourters: Laura Langman (c), Gina Crampton, Karin Burger, Shannon Saunders.

Defenders: Jane Watson, Casey Kopua, Katrina Rore, Phoenix Karaka.