Netball New Zealand will consider bringing in extra coaching support for the Silver Ferns ahead of the Commonwealth Games, with Noeline Taurua - turned down for the top job two years ago - one of the names on their radar.
The national programme will undergo a full review next month, with some tough questions to be asked of the Silver Ferns' management after a disastrous Constellation Cup series. The Ferns suffered a humiliating 4-0 series whitewash to a new-look Australian side, with the margins getting progressively worse as the series went on, culminating in a horror 16-goal loss in Sydney at the weekend.
With less than six months to go before the Commonwealth Games, the New Zealand side will need to make major adjustments if they're a chance to bridge the gap with Australia.
Netball NZ chief executive Jennie Wyllie said one of the options to be looked at in the review is whether coach Janine Southby needs further technical support.
"As part of our review and our planning we're open to [bringing in specialist coaching], we've used them successfully in the past so we certainly wouldn't rule it out," said Wyllie.
When asked if Taurua would be considered as a gun for hire, Wyllie said she would be open to approaching the Australian premiership-winning coach.
"Noeline has a lot of value she can add to any system, so she would certainly be someone that we'd consider."
Wyllie stressed Southby's position is not in jeopardy.
"When Janine was appointed she was appointed as part of long term plan. She has a contract through to the conclusion of 2019. Janine is delivering the coaching philosophy that lines up with our high performance strategy of growing the system and we're comfortable with where that is at."
Since missing out on the Ferns coaching job Taurua, the only New Zealand coach to win a transtasman title, has further enhanced her record. She led the Southern Steel to the minor premiership in the final season of the ANZ Championship before taking up a role with the Sunshine Coast Lightning in the new Australian league.
The Lightning, which features New Zealand midcourt star Laura Langman on their roster, won the inaugural Super Netball title.
Despite some harsh public utterances from Taurua on Netball NZ's handling of the appointments process, there appears to have been a mending of bridges of late. Earlier this year Taurua was involved with Netball NZ's high performance coaching summit.
While Netball NZ appear open to the idea of putting in an SOS call to Taurua, a backdown on Laura Langman's eligibility status will not be forthcoming.
Langman's decision to play across the Tasman made her ineligible for national selection.
She had initially indicated she planned on returning to New Zealand for the 2018 season, to allow to play in the Commonwealth Games, but she opted to remain on at the Lightning to help them defend their title.
"Laura is a fantastic athlete, she is so well regarded by us here at Netball NZ and in the netballing community. She is an athlete that has inspired an entire generation of netballers," said Wyllie.
"But Netball NZ made its position clear - it is not about an individual. The board made a decision that to be eligible to represent New Zealand, you need to be in the New Zealand system and that is about ensuring the longevity and sustainability of netball in this country."