It may be pre-season, but Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua is making no bones that the Super Club is doubling as an international trial.
Taurua said it was Silver Ferns business which bought her to Nelson for the tournament in an interview with 1 NEWS.
“The good thing is coming back and seeing all the talent we have and the youngsters coming through so I’ve been able to view that over the last couple of days," she said. "The Super Club is also acting as a trial, so people will be selected going into the January tour to the UK.
“I’m very aware that it is pre-season, but the opportunity to represent your country and put your hand up is exciting and challenging for players.”
Taurua said it was great for the next generation of Kiwi talent to get exposure against overseas teams, with the Collingwood Magpies out of Melbourne and England-based Wasps taking part in Nelson.
“There are some amazing players in those teams so it’s a good indicator to get the one-on-one competitive side, see where individuals are against an international or world class player,” she said.
The World Cup-winning coach said the focus would remain on winning in January, but there would be a balancing act as she looked to build for the future.
“Yeah, definitely go for the strong players who have presented themselves," she said. "As I mentioned, there are quite a few variables we need to be mindful of in regards to selections.
“There have been quite a few players the World Cup and the Con (Constellation) Cup that were in the mix but haven’t had court time, so the opportunity presents for them in the northern quad to actually get out on court and be measured by what they do in that respect.
“The offset to that is the young ones knowing in three or four years we need to back up the Netball World Cup as well, so it’s a fine balancing act but I like to think we’ll go with the best that we have going there to win - that’s what it’s all about.”
With Maria Folau’s future with the team still unclear, breakout Mystics shooter Grace Nweke was one that had caught Taurua’s eye. She described the 17-year-old as a “young whippersnapper”.