31 Jul 2010

One new cap in Silver Ferns squad

8:32 am on 31 July 2010

The Northern Mystics mid-couter Grace Rasmussen is the one new cap in the Silver Ferns netball squad named to defend their Commonwealth Games title in Delhi in October.

She's joined by three recalled Silver Ferns, shooter Daneka Wipiiti and defenders Leana de Bruin and Anna Scarlett all making a comeback to the team.

Silver Ferns coach Ruth Aitken says there were some tough selection decisions but she's confident the 12 players selected will continue to develop further individually and as a unit over the coming months until the Commonwealth Games.

Aitken says Rasmussen impressed the selectors at the three-day selection camp, proving to be a powerful addition to both the shooting and midcourt options for the Silver Ferns.

Rasmussen will be used mainly at goal attack, although she stands just 1.77 metres - or five feet eight inches.

But she says Australia's captain has shown that shooters don't have to be six footers to cope with tall defenders.

Aitken says the time Rasmussen has spent at wing attack for the Northern Mystics has strengthened her game.

The recalled defender Anna Scarlett, who gave up netball three years ago to try to get to the Olympics in beach volleyball, will also do well according to the coach.

It's been only a month since Scarlett returned and Aitken says Scarlett's a bit rusty.

In the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games the Silver Ferns will play Samoa, Jamaica and Australia in internationals.

Silver Ferns: Casey Williams (captain), Temepara George, Liana Barrett-Chase, Lena de Bruin, Katrina Grant, Joline Henry, Laura Langman, Anna Scarlett, Grace Rasmussen, Maria Tutaia, Daneka Wipiiti, Irene van Dyk