Silver Fern Maria Tutaia to miss rest of Quad Series on bereavement leave

Maria Tutaia will miss the rest of this year's Quad Series.

1 NEWS understands the Silver Ferns vice captain will miss the rest of the tournament due to a bereavement.

As a result, Tutaia will miss games against England tomorrow night in Auckland and Australia on Sunday.

Tutaia scored 28 goals on 82 per cent shooting in the team's opening match against South Africa - a 63-56 win.

MARIA TUTAIA,  International Netball Quad Series, New Zealand Silver Ferns v South Africa SPAR Proteas, Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane, Australia. 26 August 2017. Copyright photo: Richard Mamando / www.photosport.nz
Maria Tutaia lines up a shot against South Africa. Source: Photosport


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'There were a few options' - Maria Tutaia rejected Australian offers to remain with Silver Ferns

Silver Ferns sharpshooter Maria Tutaia has revealed that she turned down several lucrative offers from Australia in order to remain in New Zealand.

Tutaia, 30, signed a two-year deal to remain with the Mystics last week, amid speculation she would move to Australia to be with Sydney-based fiancee, Wallabies fullback Israel Folau.

Moving to live and play netball in Australia would see Tutaia join the likes of Laura Langman and Cat Tuivaiti as intelligible for the Silver Ferns due to playing in an overseas competition.

Speaking to Fairfax, Tutaia revealed that she came close to jumping ship, before deciding to stay at home.

"There were a few options, but I am very happy here in New Zealand," she said.

"The relationship and the learning with the Mystics this year is something I wanted to be a part of."

Tutaia will have a break from competition over the next year, but insists that she is still committed to the Silver Ferns, with 2017 to play host to the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

"I have committed myself to the Mystics and netball here in New Zealand."

Tutaia is currently in camp with the Silver Ferns' triallists, with the full squad announced on August 7.

Silver Fern Maria Tutaia Source: Photosport

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School teacher gunning for Silver Ferns squad at age of 28

Central Pulse mid-courter Claire Kersten is aiming to get her first ever spot in a Silver Ferns, taking part in her first trials at the age of 28.

Kersten, who works as a school teacher at Newlands College in Wellington, has enjoyed a meteoric rise this year as a key member of the Pulse, having not even made an ANZ side in 2015 and featuring sporadically in 2016 - hoping to take her game to the international level.

At the age of 28, Kersten is one of the older first-time triallists hoping to wear the black dress, even admitting that she thought the chance might have passed her by.

"A couple of years ago, I wasn't even playing ANZ, so there's been a big change since then," she told 1 NEWS.

"It's a great experience to be here, I'm just enjoying the week."

Kersten also says that she has the full backing of her students, who are without their teacher once again due to sporting commitments.

"They think 'oh yeah - she's away again'"

"They're pretty cool about it. It's nice having that support from the school and the staff."

Claire Kersten from Wellington is taking part in Silver Ferns trials for the first time. Source: 1 NEWS