Jenny-May Clarkson has been left stunned by Dame Noeline Taurua this morning after the Silver Ferns coach revealed her selection process for the team.
Clarkson was meant to catch up with Dame Noeline in person in Christchurch today as the Silver Ferns go through their final preparations for the Constellation Cup series against Australia, but yesterday's shift in Covid-19 alert levels saw the catch-up downgraded to a phone call.
Despite the downgraded interview though, Dame Noeline still dropped a truth bomb Clarkson wasn't prepared for after the former Silver Fern-turned TV presenter asked when she names her line-ups for games.
"There's been all sorts of different ways of doing it," Clarkson proposed.
"[An example is] the night before but then they found that players are quite nervous on the day and then don't sleep very well and that has an impact in the game."
Dame Noeline has a counter to that, although it shocked Clarkson.
"We name the team when we're in the changing rooms the day of or probably about an hour prior to coming out," Dame Noeline said.
"You are kidding me!" a visibly shocked Clarkson interjected.
The Silver Ferns coach justified the process though.
"It can be seen as pretty tough but it's an approach I did when we were in Australia with the [Sunshine Coast] Lightning and they all just get into it and get ready.
"We tested it out with the Silver Ferns when I first came in and used it as one of the options and I didn't get any flack back from any other people so that's the approach we still take now.
"The positive is that everybody has to prepare, has to be ready to be on court and I think that has proved to be successful for us."
Clarkson repeated back Dame Noeline's comments to her to make sure she had heard correctly which led her to realise how harsh the process sounds.
"It's so terrible when I'm talking to you about this because it seems so grey!"
Dame Noeline's next team naming will be tomorrow night in Christchurch when the Silver Ferns play the first of four Constellation Cup Tests against Australia.
Netball NZ has been forced to make the entire series a no-spectator event which will now only be played in Christchurch following Sunday's change to alert level 2 for most of New Zealand.
Dame Noeline said the team has been preparing hard with two or three trainings a day recently which has helped keep their mind off the recent Covid-19 news.
"It's terrible for a lot of people but we're quite lucky in our position where business is as usual - we train and do the normal things," she said.
"We've got the cruisey bit."