20 Mar 2018

Fakahokotau injured on eve of test series

2:30 pm on 20 March 2018

The Silver Ferns list of casualties continue to grow with Temalisi Fakahokotau a possible exclusion from the Taini Jamison trophy series tomorrow with an ankle injury.

Silver Ferns defender Temalisi Fakahokotau competing for the ball

Silver Ferns defender Temalisi Fakahokotau competing for the ball Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2017 www.photosport.nz

The defender watched today's final training session before the international series against Malawi, Jamaica and Fiji from the sideline on crutches and will undergo a medical assessment today.

Coach Janine Southby says she sprained her ankle and no decision has been made on whether or not cover will be required until she receives the outcome from the doctor.

"She unfortunately sustained a sprained ankle the other day so we will be assessing her later today." says Southby.

"We have been mulling over a few options but at this stage a decision won't be made until later today."

Silver Fern defender Temalisi Fakahokotau

Silver Fern defender Temalisi Fakahokotau Photo: RNZ

The news comes on the eve of the Silver Ferns last international series before the Commonwealth Games next month where the side are looking to rectify a disappointing 2017 international series.

Fakahokotau's injury is an added concern to the defensive end with veteran Kayla Cullen already ruled out with a knee injury. Another exclusion at the same end would mean the side is down to three defenders: Katrina Grant, Kelly Jury and a possible debut in sight for Michaela Sokolich-Beatson.

"We are looking at all these games over he next couple of days to make sure we do give people opportunities and for her it might come sooner than it was going to." says Southby.

"In our camp she's been really promising she wants to learn, she's like a sponge, she's asks lots of questions and she's worked really hard to make sure she's up to speed."

Southby says although Fakahokotau is an integral part to their defensive end, with Commonwealth Games looming their research into past international series' means they are prepared for anything.

"We know when we go to Commonwealth Games we can't make changes, we can't bring other players in so you've got to deal with you've got." says Southby.

"Learning from 2014 and talking to Wai (Taumaunu) and her team about that you have got to be prepared for anything they had a number that happened to them in Glasgow."

"we've certainly looked at and sat down and what if this happens, what if this happens once we get beyond the change zone."

Signs are looking positive for shooters Maria Folau and Ameliaranne Ekanasio who were on court training today but are still carrying injuries. While they haven't been ruled out of the series, they may be may facing restricted court-time in preparation for the Gold Coast next month.

New Zealand will face Malawi in their first game of the Taini Jamison trophy at the North Shore Events Centre tomorrow night at 8.10pm.