Silver Ferns axe four for Commonwealth Games in wake of woeful quad series results

The Silver Ferns have dropped four players and brought in two replacements to their squad after a disappointing Quad Series for this year's Commonwealth Games.

After losses to both England and Australia last month, coach Janine Southby has opted to bring in Ameliaranne Ekenasio and Michaela Sokolich-Beatson for the tournament.

Phoenix Karaka, Whitney Souness, Jane Watson and Maia Wilson have all been dropped after being part of the Quad Series team.

Southby said the selection process was a tough one but necessary after the team's recent results.

"We are aware of the challenge awaiting us on the Gold Coast which I know will bring out the best of these players."

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Sokolich-Beatson is the new cap in the team, having previously been part of the Silver Ferns Development Squad.

The 21-year-old's elevation comes after a strong season with the Northern Mystics as well as captaining last year's NZ under-21 team at the Netball World Youth Cup in Botswana, which the Kiwis won.

"We are really pleased to be able to name a new cap in the team in Michaela who has had a very strong ANZ Premiership season with the Mystics and her addition to the side means we have cover for both GD and WD," Southby said.

Ekenasio has been recalled to the squad after last playing for the Silver Ferns in 2016.

The shooter left in 2017 to start a family but returned to elite netball last October just months after the birth of her son.

"Ameliaranne brings another layer of experience to our attacking end and her flair at both GA and GS leaves us with plenty of options up front," Southby said.

"She has performed well for the FAST5 Ferns most recently and is ready to return to the top level."

The team's immediate focus will be three training camps in the build-up to the series against Jamaica, Malawi and Fiji for the Taini Jamison Trophy in Auckland from March 21-24.

Former vice-captain Laura Langman was unavailable for selection due to "taking a break away from the sport in 2018", Netball NZ said.

Silver Ferns Commonwealth Games squad:

Shooters: Maria Folau (vc), Te Paea Selby-Rickit, Bailey Mes, Ameliaranne Ekenasio.

Midcourters: Grace Kara, Sam Sinclair, Kayla Cullen, Shannon Francois.

Defenders: Katrina Grant (c), Temalisi Fakahokotau, Kelly Jury, Michaela Sokolich-Beatson.

Silver Ferns coach Janine Southby
Silver Ferns coach Janine Southby Source: Photosport

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