Gina Crampton gets nod as Silver Ferns skipper for Comm Games

Source: 1News

A 12-strong New Zealand netball team has been announced for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Bailey Mes, playing for the Magic against the Stars this season, is returning for a second Commonwealth Games campaign.

Four athletes return for a second Games campaign including shooters Te Paea Selby-Rickit and Bailey Mes, and defender Kelly Jury, alongside midcourter Shannon Saunders who has been to three Commonwealth Games.

Captain Gina Crampton will make her Games debut next month alongside Maia Wilson, Grace Nweke (subject to fitness), Whitney Souness, Kate Heffernan, Phoenix Karaka, Kayla Johnson and Sulu Fitzpatrick (vice-captain).

Former skipper Ameliaranne Ekenasio has been named among the five reserves, who include Claire Kersten, Tiana Metuarau, Mila Reuelu-Buchanan and Elle Temu.

Missing are Maddy Gordon, Kimiora Poi and Sam Winders.

Gina Crampton

New Zealand Netball coach Dame Noeline Taurua, who will guide the national side for the first time at a Commonwealth Games, said: “We are extremely proud to announce this group of athletes who have the opportunity to represent their country at the Commonwealth Games.

“Being a part of the greater New Zealand team and being a part of some of the unique traditions at the Commonwealth Games will be a new experience for many of these players. We have a job to do in Birmingham but we’re also looking forward to being a team within a team and to be a part of something big.

“To stand alongside New Zealand’s top athletes from various sports is something special.”

Taurua said the 12 players named in the New Zealand side had impressed over the last 18 months.

“We have monitored the progress these players have made during that time,” she said.

“They have responded to what has been asked of them and delivered under pressure.

“I’m excited about the next few weeks as we complete our preparation and finally get on the plane to Birmingham after what has been a long build-up.”

The New Zealand team will continue preparations for the Commonwealth Games by competing in the Cadbury Netball Series next month and will depart for Birmingham on 21 July.

New Zealand team:

Shooters: Maia Wilson, Te Paea Selby-Rickit, Grace Nweke* (subject to medical clearance and return-to-play protocols), Bailey Mes.

Midcourt: Gina Crampton, Shannon Saunders, Whitney Souness, Kate Heffernan.

Defence: Kayla Johnson, Phoenix Karaka, Kelly Jury, Sulu Fitzpatrick.

Team reserves: Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Claire Kersten, Tiana Metuarau, Mila Reuelu-Buchanan and Elle Temu.