2022 Quad Series preview: New Zealand

NEW ZEALAND Silver Ferns have a mix of young guns as well as experienced heads in the upcoming Quad Series. The Silver Ferns will look to overcome the losses of consistent shooting duo Maria Folau (retirement) and Ameliaranne Ekenasio (birth of her child) who had previously long been established in the shooting cirlcle. Though Folau has now been gone for more than 12 months and Ekenasio missed the last international series, it still means the Silver Ferns will have to dig deep.

The World Cup champions are always a chance against any opposition, and their form against England on home soil in the 2021 Cadbury Series proved that. Though the Roses were with a number of their starting seven members, the Silver Ferns also missed some serious talent from that series. Speaking of experience, it will be crucial in this one, and the midcourt and defensive thirds certainly have it. Gina Crampton has taken over the reigns as captain, and she will team up well with Samantha Winders. In the back third, Karin Burger and Kelly Jury will likely steer the side, but the returns of Phoenix Karaka and Kayla Johnson since giving birth to their children, will add extra strength to the side.


  • Karin Burger
  • Gina Crampton (captain)
  • Sulu Fitzpatrick
  • Kayla Johnson
  • Kelly Jury
  • Phoenix Karaka
  • Claire Kersten
  • Tiana Metuarau
  • Grace Nweke
  • Mila Reuelu-Buchanan
  • Shannon Saunders
  • Filda Vui
  • Maia Wilson
  • Sam Winders

Looking to the starting sevens, and as mentioned, the defensive end arguably writes itself. Burger and Jury will likely get the first dibs, though Sulu Fitzpatrick is another one who could take the goal keeper bib. Both Karaka and Johnson will earn minutes across goal defence, and indeed Johnson and Burger are more than capable of sliding into wing defence if required.

Through the midcourt, Crampton and Winders will take up the challenge, though Shannon Saunders has proved herself in recent years and is another level-head up for the fight. Claire Kersten ahs the capacity to provide an option in either centre or wing defence, and could well start in ther latter if them look to more of a midcourter than a defender for the role. Though the “fifth” cog in the Silver Ferns midcourt, potential debutant Mila Reuelu-Buchanan is an exciting talent tipped to get court time at some point.

In attack is where the inexperience lies, with Maia Wilson having to provide that experienced head. She and teenage young gun Grace Nweke are high-volume shooters, but both best suited under the post. It opens the door for Tiana Metuarau – only 20-years-old herself – to slide into goal attack. Without Jamie Hume and Te Paea Selby-Rickit, the attacking end is left a little exposed for experienced, but if the midcourt can do its job, then Wilson and Nweke can put up enough shots. Filda Vui rounds out the squad as another potential debutant for the Silver Ferns..


vs. Australia – January 15
vs. England – January 16
vs. South Africa – January 18


New Zealand is a tricky nation to try and work out. The Silver Ferns defence has certainly strengthened of late, the midcourt is still brimming with talent, but the forward third has raw talent. If anything, the midcourt winning the battle against the opposition will be crucial, but the young Silver Ferns shooters will gain plenty of experience against some veteran defenders throughout the tournament. They should beat South Africa, but the other new nations will be tough. Australia has some fresh faces and barely any recent form, so England looms as the huge challenge on the Roses’ home court.

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