TODAY |

New Zealand men's netball team still in disbelief about their international debut

For years men's netball has gone unnoticed, but tonight the national side made their international debut in style, thrashing the Fiji Pearls (Fiji's national women's team) 93-19.

Your playlist will load after this ad

For years men's netball has gone unnoticed, but tonight they play their first international, against Fiji. Source: 1 NEWS

In the build-up to the match, the occasion was still sinking in for members of the team.

"I never thought it could, I never thought it would, so to be finally here and in this position, I just can't wait," shooter Matt Wetere told 1 NEWS.

The match has been a long time coming with the men usually only called upon to be training partners for the Silver Ferns.

This first ever mixed series is paving the way for a new future though the International Netball Federation has long said its primary focus at international level is female only.

"I don’t think you can understate just how important it, I think the biggest thing isn't just about the young players coming through but what this means for the players who have paved the way for the past 30 odd years," defender Daniel Jefferies.

Tonight, it was the Fiji Pearls, tomorrow it's a showdown with the Ferns and Maria folau.

The Silver Ferns shooter last week reposted her husband Israel's fundraising page after he had his contract terminated with Rugby Australia for posting homophobic comments.

Many of the New Zealand men's team belong to the gay community.

"I think it's a little bit sad for us and the guys in our team and also for Netball New Zealand, we're doing such an important thing for our sport and it's been overshadowed a little bit," Jefferies said.

With history being made and a true test on our hands, these men will get the chance to reclaim the spotlight.