The Silver Ferns look set to finally have their series against Jamaica underway this week with most of the Caribbean team touching down in Auckland today – emphasis on the most.
A majority of the side arrived in New Zealand after surviving one of Aotearoa’s longest long hauls – a 16-hour flight straight from New York to the City of Sails.
“I think most importantly we need to have a shower, something hot, then probably recovery, video session, if we get the chance to go to the court [we’ll] do some familiarisation and a bit of set up - not anything too hectic,” Jamaica shooter Shimona Nelson told 1News.
“We've had a few training sessions coming in so probably more of a walk through.”
The Sunshine Girls’ build up to the series, now shortened to two back-to-back Tests in Auckland on Wednesday and Thursday, has been less than ideal after their historic run in Birmingham last month.
Last week, it was confirmed the series would be delayed due to passport issues in the US which then persisted into the weekend, leading to a cancellation of the two original Tests in Hamilton to be rescheduled in Auckland this week.
Thankfully, some of the issues have been resolved but Jamaica arrived with only seven players this morning; coach Connie Francis told 1News five more will hopefully join them tomorrow.
“Hopefully we will be able to get in those five players, if not we will just go with what we have.”
Only three players who won silver at this year’s Commonwealth Games are part of the squad for the series with the rest out with injury or other commitments.
Francis said she wasn’t fazed by the new-look squad though.
“It's about blooding in our new players,” she said.
“The continuity of our netball in Jamaica - we need to make sure that we face the fire and this is the No.2 team in the world and are highly respected, so it's a different style and I know they will highly benefit from it so even though we don't have the strongest of team now, our style will remain the same and I know New Zealand will benefit from it.”