Silver Ferns coach confident defensive duo ready for Quad series

December 17, 2022
Karin Burger.

Silver Ferns' coach Dame Noeline Taurua says fitness shouldn't be a barrier for returning defenders Karin Burger and Jane Watson getting selected for January's Quad Series.

By Bridget Tunnicliffe for

The pair have been at the Silver Ferns' training camp in Auckland, from which selectors will name 14 players to travel to Cape Town next month for the series against Australia, England, and hosts South Africa.

Watson is returning after having her first child in May and Burger is getting over a foot injury, which saw her miss the Commonwealth Games and last two international series.

Dame Noeline said Watson came down with Covid a couple of weeks ago, which had put her progress back a little.

"The good thing is we were able to get her out on court for limited time this morning. Karin is also on limited minutes."

But Dame Noeline said she didn't think that would impact on their eligibility for the Quad series.

"Karin is fine on that aspect, Jane at the moment because of her bout of Covid we had to pull back the load on her.

"But she should be fine on the fitness front because of the work she did prior to getting Covid so it shouldn't be any issue. The next couple of weeks we should be able to see as well as to how much we can push her."

The players did fitness testing prior to coming into camp and the coach was very happy overall - "they are very fit ...everyone has done their work and presented themselves well."

Jane Watson of New Zealand and Eboni Usoro-Brown of England during the Netball World Cup 2019 semi final.

While a couple of players were yet to reach the yoyo standard, Dame Noeline was confident they would very soon.

"There's still a couple that are bracketed, there's still a bit to go but they will probably fall in the next couple of days and there shouldn't be any issue.

"And it's only been through illness or injury, but we should be all right because I know how they've been tagging prior to that so it's just getting them out on court and getting the timing right. I know we've shifted positively overall."

The Quad Series will be a crucial step as the side builds up to next year's World Cup in July, also in South Africa.

The Silver Ferns' coach said the balance between consolidating positions and continuing to give less experienced players opportunities was a hard one.

"And any international match is gold not only for us as a team but for them to cement and secure their position moving forward. It's always a fine balancing act; sometimes we get it right sometimes we don't but the intention is to get the best team we can for Netball World Cup -players who can own their own programme."

Silver Ferns' Development Squad players are also in camp and have the potential to be selected for the Quad series.

Former captain Gina Crampton has also come back from the sabbatical she took following the Commonwealth Games.

Gina Crampton

"She's just slipped right back in so it's sort of like she never left but she's done a lot of work on her conditioning so that's clear. With Jane and Karin it's given us more options defensively especially inside the circle.

"What they have brought as well to the team is their leadership and I think where we currently are with the make up of the team or the squad that's really valuable they've set the tone all three of them."

The Silver Ferns' coach said the midcourt depth yet again would make it hard when it came to naming the side.

"The midcourt is fierce ...everybody is putting their hand up and everyone is fit so that is probably the most difficult area of selections."

The Quad Series will take place between the 21-26 January 2023.


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