14 Dec 2016

Cullen, Karaka, Purvis miss out on Silver Ferns

3:35 pm on 14 December 2016

Defenders Kayla Cullen, Phoenix Karaka and Storm Purvis will miss the Silver Ferns netball Quad Series in South Africa and England next year through injury.

Cullen was ruled out of the season-ending Constellation Cup with a foot injury, though she was expected to be fit in time for next year's tour, after being given a six to eight week recovery timeframe.

New Zealand's Kayla Cullen.

New Zealand's Kayla Cullen. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

But Silver Ferns coach Janine Southby said Cullen ended up needing surgery, and they didn't want to risk her for the upcoming series.

"She's only just getting back into running now and we're really conscious of players being at the standard we need them to be for international netball come the 22nd January when we leave," Southby said.

"We just really wanted Kayla to have the opportunity to work a graduated programme back into running and strength over this next couple of weeks.

"She's been plagued by injuries this year and we certainly don't want that going forward. Certainly Kayla's well part of our plans going forward, but at this point in time we're taking a very conservative approach with rehab and recovery."

Phoenix Karaka in action for the Fast5 Ferns

Phoenix Karaka in action for the Fast5 Ferns Photo: Photosport

Phoenix Karaka and Storm Purvis were both part of the team which came runner-up in the Quad Series in August and lost the Constellation Cup series to Australia in October.

But Southby said Purvis has injured her knee and Karaka is recovering from an ankle injury, and they don't want to rush them back into the international game.

All three players are expected to be fully fit in time for the start of domestic netball's ANZ Premiership in March.

Kelly Jury and Sam Sinclair are the new additions to the squad, who are in line to make their Silver Ferns debuts during the Quad Series with Australia, England and South Africa.

Midcourter Sinclair will take up the place left vacant by the experienced Laura Langman, who's ineligible for selection in 2017, while Jury, who's just 20, will join Katrina Grant, Anna Harrison and Jane Watson in the defensive circle.

Samantha Sinclair

Sam Sinclair in action for the Fast5 Ferns Photo: Photosport

Both players were part of New Zealand's Fast5 Ferns team which retained their world championship title this year.

Maria Tutaia will take up the vice-captaincy, which was held by Langman in 2016.

The Silver Ferns will start their tour in South Africa, with a match against the Australian Diamonds on the 28th of January at Durban Arena.