Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua is still not happy with her players’ level of fitness. Taurua has been calling for greater levels of alignment with fitness ideals for quite some time now, and to the point that she sent five players home from a training camp earlier this year.
Two national squad members sent packing for performing below par have now been identified as star shooter Te Paea Selby-Rickit, and defender Kelly Jury. Both were declared ineligible for the upcoming four-game Constellation Cup due to get underway against Australia on March 2, in Christchurch.
Members of the squad sent packing all scored well under the mandatory 16.3 of the standard fitness test used in pro-sports, namely the yoyo. The test measures an player’s ability to endure periods of intense physical activity followed by short but active slow-goes.
Jury and Rickit’s departure means the squad are seriously lacking on defensive and shooting options as they head towards next month’s competition. Taurua is expected to name her Constellation Cup squad next week. At this stage of the proceedings, only three frontline defenders can expect to be named to the getup – Sulu Fitzpatrick, Jane Watson, and Karin Burger.
On the shooting front, which also happens to be a similar challenge to that of defence, team captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio and Maia Wilson are set to be named preferred shooting combination for next month’s cup.
Taurua, who has been coaching the national side since 2018, said fitness standards remain a problem for the Silver Ferns and for netball in the country.
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