15 Sep 2017

Changes to Silver Ferns to take on Australia

1:35 pm on 15 September 2017

Grace Rasmussen, Jane Watson, and Phoenix Karaka have missed out on the Silver Ferns squad for the Constellation Cup, with a younger crop of players preferred.

Whitney Souness

Whitney Souness Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Mid-courter Whitney Souness from the Central Pulse has been included, along with defenders Kelly Jury and Temalisi Fakahokotau.

Coach Janine Southby used the recent Quad series and Taini Jamison Trophy as a quasi-trial before she named the 12 to take on Australia next month.

It is also a good indication of who will make next year's Commonwealth Games team.

The experienced Rasmussen has been a staple of the Silver Ferns mid-court for the past couple of years but Gina Crampton and Souness have usurped her.

Souness debuted in the Quad Series, while Rasmussen played in the series against England.

Watson was named ANZ Premiership Player of the Year but didn't really fire during the recent international series.

Karaka, who has been in and out of the Ferns since 2015, is another casualty.

The height-advantaged Jury and menacing Fakahokotau have effectively taken their spots.

After winning the Netball Quad Series and Taini Jamison Trophy, the Silver Ferns are determined to return the Constellation Cup to New Zealand for the first time since 2012.

Centurions Katrina Grant and Maria Tutaia will lead the side.

Southby says the team has plenty of speed, creativity and versatility - something they'll need if they're to bring back the cup.

"This is a trophy that has eluded us for a few years now. We took a lot of confidence out of that win against Australia in the Quad Series, but we know that the Constellation Cup is a different ball game." Southby said.

"New Zealand v Australia battles are always fierce - fans love them, the players love them - they're a great spectacle for our sport."

The four-Test Series against the Australian Diamonds will start in Auckland on October 5th, followed by Tests in Christchurch, Adelaide and Sydney.

Silver Ferns team for Constellation Cup:

Bailey Mes

Maria Tutaia (vc)

Te Paea Selby-Rickit

Maia Wilson

Gina Crampton

Whitney Souness

Shannon Francois

Samantha Sinclair

Katrina Grant (c)

Kayla Cullen

Temalisi Fakahokotau

Kelly Jury