New Zealand Cadbury Series: Squad release

THE Cadbury Netball Series is set to kick off on Wednesday with the competition consisting of four teams; Silver Ferns, New Zealand A, New Zealand Under 21s and New Zealand Men’s making for an action packed couple of days. The competition will be run over four days, with two games per night. The top two sides will then battle it out on Saturday night to claim bragging rights and the series.

The Silver Ferns have a 15 player squad, with 12 members to be named on game day while New Zealand A (NZA) carries a core group of 11 players. The three athletes not included in the Silver Ferns game day squad will swing into the NZA side to get some court time. Newly appointed Central Pulse coach Gail Parata is set to join forces with Marianne Delaney-Hoshek to coach the NZA squad as Noeline Taurua resumes her role as Silver Ferns head coach. Yvette McCausland-Durie is in charge of the Under 21s while co-coaches Tania Anderson and Natalie Milicich head up the Men’s.

A few players were unavailable for selection with Bailey Mes, Katrina Rore and Temalisi Fakahokotau all out for medical or injury management reasons with the likes of Mes still recovering from an injury that ruled her out for the entire ANZ Premiership season. Despite the absentees there is still a number of highly talented players ready to grace the court in the upcoming series.


Ameliaranne Ekenasio
Monica Falkner
Grace Nweke
Te Paea Selby-Rickit
Maia Wilson

Gina Crampton
Claire Kersten
Kimiora Poi
Shannon Saunders
Whitney Souness
Sam Winders

Karin Burger
Sulu Fitzpatrick
Kelly Jury
Jane Watson

There is plenty of excitement surrounding Northern Mystics shooting sensation Grace Nweke who is preparing for a potential Silver Ferns debut. The 18-year-old goal shooter shot to stardom throughout the season after earning a permanent call-up to the Mystics side in 2020 with her strong holds, athleticism and sheer dominance at the post leaving many fans in awe. She is joined by the likes of current Ferns captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio, the ever-reliable Te Paea Selby-Rickit and Maia Wilson. With Mes unavailable for selection Monica Falkner also joins the fold in the shooting circle giving the Ferns plenty of versatility under the post.

The midcourt is stacked with plenty of speed with the likes of Kimiora Poi and Whitney Souness leading the way while the staples in Gina Crampton and Shannon Saunders will have to step up to the plate given the retirement of Laura Langman. Defensively the Ferns also have plenty of class boasting the likes of Jane Watson who oozes versatility and cleanliness much like Karin Burger while Kelly Jury will be hoping to make an impact in the black dress.


Ellie Bird
Aliyah Dunn
Jamie Hume

Tayla Earle
Maddy Gordon
Kate Heffernan

Kate Burley
Oceane Maihi
Erena Mikaere
Michaela Sokolich-Beatson
*Georgia Tong (subject to medical clearance)

For the NZA team there is a wealth of exciting youth itching to take the court. Maddy Gordon is coming off the back of a stellar ANZ Premiership season taking home the grand final MVP despite only playing three quarters. Her speed and accuracy to dance around the court and deliver the ball on a silver platter will pay dividends to the tall timbers under the post such as Aliyah Dunn and Ellie Bird. The two goal shooters play a similar holding style role while Jamie Hume is more of that playmaker out the front in goal attack, able to glide across the circle and open it up. Tayla Earle and Kate Heffernan also join Gordon through the midcourt while excitement machines Oceane Maihi and Kate Burley were selected in defence. The two are not short of aerial capabilities, renowned for their leap and ability to contest the high ball similar to Magic goal keeper Georgia Tong who is waiting upon medical clearance to play. Meanwhile, breaking news is that Michaela Sokolich-Beatson ruptured her Achilles tendon and will no longer be taking part in the competition.


Georgie Edgecombe
Taneisha Fifita
Hannah Glen
Vika Koloto
Paris Lokotui
Parris Mason
Tiana Metuarau
Ainsleyana Puleiata
Renee Savai’inaea
Jessie Taylor
Saviour Tui
Khiarna Williams

Youngster Khiarna Williams will be one to keep an eye on throughout the season, often holding her own throughout the 2020 ANZ Premiership season the goal shooter proved her strength and netball smarts to outmanoeuvre opponents and edge closer to the post. Tiana Metuarau is no stranger to the big stage able to stand up under pressure, and is highly versatile able to swing between goal attack and wing attack seamlessly. Fellow goaler Saviour Tui can play both goal shooter and goal attack thanks to her height and spatial awareness. Paris Lokotui and Parris Mason both recently signed with Central Pulse for the 2021 season and will be eager to make a lasting impression with their defensive attributes and hunt for the ball. Taneisha Fifita burst out of the blocks in 2020 and oozes excitement aplenty given her physicality and ball winning abilities.


Quintin Gerber
Nick Grimmer
Daniel Jefferies
Junior Levi
Deepak Patu
Cameron Powell
Jake Schuster
Ben Smith
Eddie Solia
Jaryn Tainui
Kruze Tangira (captain)
Joseph Tukaki
Timmy Apisai
Sheridan Wills

It is hard to go past the services of Junior Levi with the talented goaler a force to be reckoned with given his height, athleticism and ability to turn himself inside out to continuously reel ball in and score. Levi is a dominant force under the post that can command the ball and use his body positioning to outwork his opponents. Captain Kruze Tangira is renowned for his creativity with ball in hand and high endurance through the middle to consistently back up contest after contest. Goaler Cameron Powell is no slouch, able to unleash to post with ease if given the time and space while both Daniel Jefferies and Joseph Tukaki are others to keep an eye on having played in last year’s series.

Picture credit: Michael Bradley

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