When the going gets tough on the courts of contention for the Silver Ferns, the courage starts surfacing in the form of Grace Rasmussen.

No hissy fits, no panic attacks or silent treatment of teammates but just Rasmussen resplendent in her form through the beauty of freedom.

"I'm a calm player. People often say that I'm calm and composed when I play so that's what I think I bring to the team and offer," says the 29-year-old of Auckland, who will play the England Roses in the second test match for the Taini Jamison Trophy in Napier tomorrow.

The first centre pass at the Pettigrew-Green Arena, Taradale, is at 2.15pm after the hosts mingle with fans at the Hawke's Bay Netball Centre courts in Hastings from 11.15am to 12.15pm today to impart new skills, sign autographs and offer chances of winning free passes to tomorrow's test.


The hosts are coming here on the heels of a 62-55 victory against the tourists in Porirua on Thursday but are mindful the scoreline isn't indicative of how close the game was and the latter's prowess.

It's conventional for Rasmussen, when taking stock of chapters opening and closing in her life, to reconcile them in the belief that "everything happens for a reason".

The midcourter, who assumes the mantle of wing attack but can slap on the goal attack and centre bibs if required, has had her share of trials and tribulations in an unorchestrated netball career that has earned her 47 caps for her country.

The 1.77m tall player made her debut against Samoa in 2010 and last month signed a contract to return to her birthplace franchise of the Northern Stars next domestic season.

Rasmussen accepts she's one of the more established players in the wing-attack position but isn't going as far as assuming she's made it her own considering there's a rash of promising younger players injected into the squad.

"I never take my spot for granted," she says, welcoming some healthy competition, something she has become accustomed to after feeling the breath down her neck for the bib from Anna Thompson, Courtney Tairi, Camilla Lees, Liana Leota and, more recently, Shannon Francois, Gina Crampton and Whitney Souness on and off during her international career.

She laughs when asked if the departure of world-class midcourter Laura Langman opened up the door for Francois to gravitate more towards a centre position, considering Rasmussen had a stiff challenge from the 39-cap Francois who had also taken a shine to the wing attack bib.

"Yes, you always get that from up-and-coming players so Shannon's been playing well and I think she's got into her position [centre] nicely," she says, happy to channel her energy into what she does best.

She relishes what her position offers, giving her the licence to spread her wings to usher Big Mo to the attacking circle for the likes of vice-captain Maria Tutaia, Bailey Mes and Te Paea Selby-Rickit to feed off.

That is not to say it's a done deal when you have the 1.88m frame of goal keep Geva Mentor reminding the Silver Ferns that there won't be any easy picking in England's defensive circle.

Having lost 49-45 to the tourists in the Quad Series on August 30 in Auckland, the Katrina Grant-skippered New Zealanders were able to bounce back emphatically in exposing the brittle defence of Australia to win the inaugural crown.

The England result left fans here scratching their heads, trying find rhyme and reason after the Kiwis had thumped the Roses 61-37 when they last met in February.

"I think they were more hungry for a win," says Rasmussen of the Roses but revealing Janine Southby and her Silver Ferns coaching stable were quietly pleased with what the young charges took to the court.

Rather than feeling sorry for themselves the Silver Ferns had picked themselves up off the court, returned to the drawing board to iron out some obvious creases before venting their spleen on the Diamonds and take a resurgent Roses in their stride.

It reflected a sense of resilience and tenacity that, no doubt, were always there but hadn't emerged to define the collective character.

Rasmussen says the scrimmages this week focused on trusting their systems, comfortable in the knowledge that under pressure on test match nights when push comes to shove the 50-50 situations will go their way, not by chance but purpose.

She played alongside sister Rachel, 33, in the Northern Mystics franchise in the now defunct ANZ Transtasman Championship era but it was a given the four Rasmussen sisters were following in the well-worn tracks of netball in the family.

Rasmussen eventually crossed the floor to the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic in 2014 to also play against Rachel.

Sport is part of the genetic composition of the Rasmussens, including former Samoa international brother Dale, 40, who played for the Chiefs before plying his trade in England as a centre.

Mother Ruta is immensely proud of all of their achievements.

Rasmussen's family are her biggest fans although travelling to Napier isn't on their schedule this time.

She had no romantic notions of ever becoming a Silver Fern growing up but she started to believe when she progressed through the national age-group (U15, U21) ranks.

"I made the National Bank Cup [through the Auckland Diamonds] in my last year of high school," says the former Avondale College pupil who used to simply enjoy the fellowship of friends on the court.

She isn't stewing about returning to her much-publicised hometown franchise of Northern Stars last month amid disappointment and differences in opinion with the Magic over whether she didn't pick up the pen quick enough to sign a contract or whether the Hamilton-based franchise did a u-turn the morning after she eventually signed.

"You know, I definitely believe everything happens for a reason so I signed up with the Stars to be back home with the family at the end of November."

The 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games gold medallist, who missed the cut for the Glasgow Games in 2014, will tie the knot with fiance Mark Kara.

"We've been together for a wee while now but Commonwealth Games is still a goal of mine next year so I think it's something to look forward to but continuing with my career."

Rasmussen and Kara have been together for a decade and were engaged last month reportedly after a romantic proposal from him which involved a plane unfurling a banner across Mission Bay in Auckland.

SILVER FERNS: Katrina Grant (c), Maria Tutaia (vc), Kayla Cullen, Gina Crampton, Temalisi Fakahokotau, Monica Falkner, Shannon Francois, Kelly Jury, Bailey Mes, Grace Rasmussen, Te Paea Selby-Rickit, Jane Watson.

ENGLAND ROSES: Ama Agbeze (c), Jade Clarke (vc), Joanne Harten (vc), Sara Bayman, Eboni Beckford-Chambers, Eleanor Cardwell, Beth Cobden, Kadeen Corbin, Sasha Corbin, Stacey Francis, Jodie Gibson, Serena Guthrie, Natalie Haythornthwaite, Helen Housby, Geva Mentor, Chelsea Pitman.