2023 Quad Series preview: New Zealand
THE 2023 Netball Quad Series is set to get underway this weekend, with Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa all set to battle it out in Cape Town, South Africa for the title.
In the build up, Rookie Me Central will be taking a look at each of the teams competing at the tournament and analyse their potential at this tournament.
Today’s penultimate team preview is New Zealand.
Although 2022 went pretty well for the New Zealanders, they would have certainly liked much of the year to go better so 2023 is a big year to do a 180 degree turn on how things went for much of 2022 for the side.
After finishing third in last year’s Quad Series, New Zealand then went on to replicate their 2018 Commonwealth Games performance at the 2022 edition and again finished third, before a series win over Jamaica and losing the Constellation Cup to the Australians to round out the year.
As the reigning World Champions, New Zealand would have no doubt looked to finish much higher at particularly the Commonwealth Games, and with a title to defend later this year, this Quad Series is the perfect start to the team’s preparation for that series.
The Silver Ferns have also not played a series since that Constellation Cup loss, and with the ANZ Premiership season finishing well before that these players are fresh and no doubt ready for a big series.
Speaking of the Constellation Cup, the Silver Ferns gain back a lot of experience for this Quad Series that did not play in the Constellation Cup.
Defenders Jane Watson and Karin Burger, as well as midcourters Gina Crampton and Claire Kersten have all been named in the squad heading to South Africa for this quad series.
The four veterans replace Elle Temu, Maddy Gordon, Kimiora Poi and Mila Reuelu-Buchanan from the team that lost the Quad Series.
Of those who are not new inclusions into the squad, Grace Nweke and Kelly Jury are coming off a shared Dame Lois Muir Supreme Award winning year, and will be looking to continue their fine form into the new year.
Whitney Souness also had a strong Constellation Cup series, so will be keen to maintain that kind of form she showed into the new year.
New Zealand Squad
Karin Burger, Gina Crampton, Ameliaranne Ekenasio (C), Sulu Fitzpatrick, Kate Heffernan, Kelly Jury, Phoenix Karaka, Claire Kersten, Grace Nweke, Te Paea Selby-Rickit, Whitney Souness, Peta Toeava, Jane Watson, Maia Wilson