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Silver Ferns excited to face off against NZ Men again - 'They've done so much for us'

The Silver Ferns and New Zealand men's netball team are set to face off once more in the upcoming Cadbury Series - a rivalry both sides are excited to see blossoming in the public eye.

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Sulu Fitzpatrick and NZ Men's captain Kruze Tangira said it's great to see men's netball getting more recognition. Source: Breakfast

With the Covid-19 pandemic robbing the Silver Ferns of international opportunities this year, a four-team series featuring them, the NZ Men, a New Zealand A squad and the under-21s team has been set up to keep the netballers on their toes.

NZ men's captain Kruze Tangira told TVNZ1's Breakfast his team appreciated the recognition they and men's netball in general are starting to get thanks to opportunities like this on national television.

"This isn't just a representation of myself and my family, it's also the men and women that have come before me that have really contributed to the landscape of men's netball within this country," Tangira said.

"We are so fortunate to be a part of this series and also to train against the Silver Ferns behind closed doors when that was happening but it does feel like a step forward for the men's netball game."

The two sides have often played each other in the past with the Silver Ferns using them as a warm-up opportunity for tournaments but such games usually happened without many people's knowledge.

That all changed last year when the men were televised playing against the Silver Ferns, an ANZ Premiership All Stars team and Fiji, allowing them to show off the agile and technical play style they've developed.

Silver Ferns defender Sulu Fitzpatrick said they were just as happy for the men's team.

"I've never known netball without them," Fitzpatrick said.

"They're part-and-parcel and it's the full picture of what netball is as an identity - we're all brothers and sisters for this game.

"They have done so much for us."

This year's series takes place in Palmerston North from October 21 to 24.