21 Sep 2016

Tutaia and Harrison back in black

1:36 pm on 21 September 2016

Maria Tutaia and Anna Harrison return to the Silver Ferns line-up for the Constellation Cup series against Australia next month, despite both still carrying injuries.

Silver Fern Maria Tutaia.

Silver Fern Maria Tutaia. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Coach Janine Southby has increased her squad to 14 to prepare for the four game series which starts in Sydney on October 9th.

She has retained the 12 that beat Jamaica 3-0 last week.

Southby says this is an opportunity to continue to build their depth in what will be a challenging series.

"This is our time to really build our base and continue through with the group that performed well in the Netball Quad Series and Taini Jamison Trophy," Southby said.

"Anna and Maria have been working tirelessly on their rehab and are keen to re-join the group. To be able to add two players of their experience is a great opportunity for us.

Tutaia injured her football against Australia in July, while Harrison missed the Quad Series and Jamaica series with a calf injury.

Both are still yet to fully recover.

"But they are working towards that," Southby said.

"They've got a really managed and specific programme leading into Constellation Cup and it's [about] making sure that we don't put too much loading on them early and risk them getting re-injured again.

Silver Fern defender Anna Harrison

Silver Fern defender Anna Harrison Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"Matches against Australia are always tough and this series will be no exception - it will be highly competitive and very demanding. But to be the best you have to play the best and we are looking forward to the challenge."

Australia will host the first two games of the Constellation Cup series in Sydney and Launceston with the last two in Auckland and Invercargill.

The Silver Ferns will name a team of 12 prior to each Test Match.

Silver Ferns team for Constellation Cup

Katrina Grant (captain)

Laura Langman (vice-captain)

Kayla Cullen

Ameliaranne Ekenasio

Shannon Francois

Anna Harrison

Phoenix Karaka

Bailey Mes

Storm Purvis

Grace Rasmussen

Te Paea Selby-Rickit

Maria Tutaia

Jane Watson

Maia Wilson