Silver Ferns rematch with NZ men's side moving closer to reality

Netball New Zealand have confirmed they are progressing plans for the Silver Ferns to play against the New Zealand men as a way to fill the void left by the Covid-19-affected international calendar.

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The Ferns lost twice to the Men's Invitational side last week. Source: 1 NEWS

The Silver Ferns were meant to feature in the Quad Series alongside Australia, England and South Africa in September but the event has been cancelled due to travel restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As a result, Netball NZ told RNZ they are now looking at other ways to fill the Silver Ferns’ schedule and the success of last year’s series against the men is fresh in their minds.

The Silver Ferns lost two games against the men’s team last year but the series drew in audiences and helped propel the women to a World Championship title in Liverpool soon after.

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Junior Manapori said the men's team knew the Ferns would do well after their two-game series. Source: 1 NEWS

Netball New Zealand head of high performance Keir Hansen told RNZ it only made sense to look at another series with the men.

"We're looking at all our options, but obviously the Cadbury series was really a successful event for us last year with Fiji, the men, the All Stars and the Silver Ferns," Hansen told RNZ.

"The success of that series and the men's involvement is fresh in our minds so we're obviously thinking and talking about it, but we're also thinking about what are the options, what would be of interest of our community and what would be good for the Silver Ferns and our high performance programme as well.

"We're thinking along those lines and looking at what options there might be to ensure that we're able to deliver a full international season for the Silver Ferns one way or another."

Hansen added they were unsure if they could involve international teams - such as Fiji, who competed in last year’s series as well.

"We're like everybody else, really. We're just watching, monitoring and listening to Ministry of Health and Government guidelines and making sure we're doing the right things," Hansen said.

"When those opportunities open up, you know when it's the right time we'll look at them, but for the time being we are working with what we know and otherwise watching how things unfold.

"When we're able to make those sort of decisions, we will."