From shock exclusions to questionable inclusions, Noeline Taurua has proven she's not shy to make controversial calls.

Taurua this afternoon revealed the 12-strong team that will travel to Liverpool in July to compete in the Netball World Cup, and the announcement didn't come without a few surprises.

Former Silver Ferns captain Katrina Rore earned her place back in the squad after being controversially axed from the national side's January Quad Series campaign.

Although it would be a stretch to say Rore's selection was unexpected - thanks to her 125 test caps of experience – the Central Pulse captain acknowledged that receiving the call was a shock.


"I'd protected myself for a non-recall so being here is pretty awesome," she said after the team was announced. "It feels like my first time all over again so it's a great thrill."

Rore will join a well-experienced group of defenders including veteran Casey Kopua, who will be competing at her fourth and final World Cup, and Mystics captain Phoenix Karaka.

Silver Ferns captain Laura Langman. Photo / Photosport
Silver Ferns captain Laura Langman. Photo / Photosport

Karaka also earned herself a recall after having last appeared for the national side in January 2018 while Jane Watson further solidified her spot in the defensive circle.

The pair overtook Kelly Jury – New Zealand's tallest defender – with too many questions marks still around her recovery after dislocating her shoulder during the 2018 season.

Mystics shooter Bailey Mes will also re-join the squad alongside Maria Folau, Ameliaranne Ekenasio and Te Paea Selby-Rickit with experience clearly the trend for Taurua's selection.

Many fans were hoping to see schoolgirl goal shoot Grace Nweke make the squad after a standout debut season with the Mystics, however, the teen's lack of international court time saw her ruled out early on.

It's the first time Mes has been selected for the Silver Ferns since the side's disastrous Commonwealth Games campaign and although being ranked last in accuracy amongst the ANZ Premiership shooters with 200 or more made goals, with a 73 per cent shooting percentage, her experience and fitness is what saw her bypass young stars Aliyah Dunn and Maia Wilson.

With the Silver Ferns set to play eight games in 10 days, including five in five days to start the tournament, Taurua kept fitness at the forefront of her World Cup selection criteria.


Dunn, in particular, struggled to meet the strength and conditioning targets set out by Taurua while Wilson's inconsistency in the back end of the ANZ Premiership season was likely where she fell flat.

Bailey Mes earned herself a recall. Photo / Photosport
Bailey Mes earned herself a recall. Photo / Photosport

It won't be surprising to see plenty of the load in the shooting circle handed down to Folau, with the Silver Ferns veteran still New Zealand's only world-class shooter in terms of consistency, accuracy and physicality on court.

Shannon Saunders (nee Francois), who has played 59 tests since debuting in 2013, joins Mes as one of the talking points from the team announcement, with the midcourter also having not appeared for the side since the Commonwealth Games.

Edging past Whitney Souness and Sam Sinclair as the fourth midcourter, Saunders' title as one of the country's fittest players seems to have helped her catch the attention of selectors once again.

The rest of the midcourt was fairly expected with Laura Langman set to captain the side, while Gina Crampton and Karin Burger solidified their spots following solid efforts in the past few international campaigns.

With a wealth of experienced standout leaders set to take the court in Liverpool, the Silver Ferns have little excuse to put up a solid and honourable performance.

Silver Ferns Team:

Karin Burger (Pulse), Gina Crampton (Steel), Ameliaranne Ekenasio (Pulse), Maria Folau (Thunderbirds), Phoenix Karaka (Mystics), Casey Kopua (Magic), Laura Langman (captain, Lightning), Bailey Mes (Mystics), Katrina Rore (Pulse), Shannon Saunders (Steel), Te Paea Selby-Rickit (Steel), Jane Watson (Tactix).