The Silver Ferns have named 27 trialists to select their Commonwealth Games squad from for next month's event in Birmingham.
Coach Dame Noeline Taurua and selectors named the chosen athletes on Wednesday morning after the ANZ Premiership wrapped up on the weekend with the Pulse crowned champions.
Taurua said the process for selection started last year with their series against England and has been building ever since.
“There have been many factors which have gone into naming our trialists with this year’s ANZ Premiership the final stage to see if players have progressed and shifted in performance areas,” Taurua said.
"We’ve had some tough decisions to make, and injury has also played its hand in the final make-up of the trialists."
The 27 named athletes will travel to Wellington for a four-day camp starting June 20 with a final team of 12 to be named for the Commonwealth Games.
From there, a national side will be selected for a series against the New Zealand A team, Aotearoa Men and an Invitational Mixed team, along with the team to travel to Birmingham for the July 28 - 8 August Commonwealth Games.
Along with her usual high standards for fitness, Taurua said an athlete’s physical loads and capabilities, injury status, robustness, performance analysis benchmarks, health and wellbeing and compliance were also weighed up in their selections.
“We carried an extended squad into the series against England, Aotearoa Men last year and Netball Quad Series in January with these selections in mind and the majority of the Silver Ferns Squad and Silver Ferns Development Squad getting an opportunity to get out on court," she said.
“I’ve seen these players for many seasons in different environments. They have received a lot of feedback. For Silver Ferns to be in contention for gold at the Commonwealth Games we need athletes who are committed to grow their game, work for each other and have specific skillsets that enable us to play a certain game plan on court.
“Trials are another opportunity for us to create our own pressure and to see if players can deliver under that pressure. I’m looking forward to seeing who rises to the occasion.
"When they do come together, we'll see the cream rise to the top."
It comes after defender Karen Burger was ruled out of selection for the Commonwealth Games earlier this week after sustaining a navicular fracture in her foot in Sunday's final.
Burger and others not named on Wednesday still have a chance to put on the uniform later this year in other events such as the Constellation Cup and Fast5 Netball World Series, Taurua added.
“Our immediate focus is representing our country at the Commonwealth Games, but we still have next year’s Netball World Cup in our sights and there are a number of opportunities for players to continue to push their claim for a ticket to South Africa in 2023.”
Silver Ferns Commonwealth Games trialists
Kate Burley, Gina Crampton, Aliyah Dunn, Tayla Earle, Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Sulu Fitzpatrick, Holly Fowler, Maddy Gordon, Kate Heffernan, Jamie Hume, Kayla Johnson, Kelly Jury, Phoenix Karaka, Claire Kersten, Kristiana Manu’a, Bailey Mes, Tiana Metuarau, Grace Nweke, Kimiora Poi, Mila Reuelu-Buchanan, Shannon Saunders, Te Paea Selby-Rickit, Whitney Souness, Elle Temu, Peta Toeava, Maia Wilson, Sam Winders