Resurrection is the theme for the Silver Ferns' World Cup campaign.

Noeline Taurua's side enjoyed a warm welcome to the UK today at the penthouse suite of the New Zealand High Commission, overlooking Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the London Eye and River Thames.

It was a rare break for the inflated squad of 13 that continues to sweat over the fitness of former captain Katrina Rore, and be put through relentless training, one week out from their World Cup opener in Liverpool.

Given that first match comes against Malawi, who stunned the Silver Ferns to cripple last year's medal quest at the Commonwealth Games, there is no chance of complacency.

Advertisement

"We want to hit Malawi really hard," Taurua said. "Last year in the Commonwealth Games they were one of the teams that put us out. I'm really happy we've got them in the first game so we can put our all into that and then slowly get our feet and start being strategic about positional play and combinations.

"We're looking to restore pride back in the Silver Ferns dress and also make our country proud so resurrection is a really good word for us."

The Silver Ferns are based in Colchester, Essex, for the next three days where they will play two warm up matches against Gail Parata's Scotland team this weekend, before moving on to Liverpool.

Those games will decide the fate of Rore, the experienced defender nursing a calf injury for the past two weeks.

Michaela Sokolich-Beatson has travelled as cover but Rore appears confident she will prove her fitness in time. With eight games in 10 days, there is no room to carry anyone unable to fully contribute.

"I need to make sure I'm 100 per cent. I don't want to be a liability – I don't want to get to the World Cup and break down, it's not fair on our team, but I want to be there really bad," Rore said.

"I feel like after training today I'm about 80 or 90 per cent. I'm feeling really confident in my injury. I'm making progress but you never know what's going to happen."

Injured Silver Fern Katrina Rore. Photo / Photosport
Injured Silver Fern Katrina Rore. Photo / Photosport

Rore has endured a tumultuous ride since the Ferns' Commonwealth Games capitulation; losing the captaincy, being dropped and recalled, only to suffer this injury on the eve of the World Cup.

Advertisement

She has since gone to great lengths to enhance recovery – not taking off a compression sock, despite the London heat.

The Silver Ferns plan to make a call on Rore within the next four days, once the Scotland matches are complete, so D-Day looms.

"It's probably been one of the hardest mental battles I think I've faced," Rore said.

"It's been a massive rollercoaster being dropped from the side last year and then making it back for the World Cup – and then being like 'hold on a second, you might not have it'.

"I've faced quite a few challenges in my career but this one is definitely up there. It's not just myself; it's the team and Michaela. We're lucky she is an outstanding person both on and off the court.

"It's so close but not quite there for me. I can see it and I can touch it but I just have to wait for the green light.

"I have to get through those Scotland games to make sure I can play at least a full quarter at 100 per cent and go from there. It's preparing for the worst and hoping for the best."

Taurua has been at the helm of the Ferns for less than a year. In that time she has attempted to overhaul the squad by implementing an explosive game plan which demands supreme fitness standards in order to deliver repeat on court efforts that capitalise on pilfered possession.

The Ferns arrive at this pinnacle event ranked fourth in the world, behind Australia, Jamaica and England, but determined to lift their standing to historical levels of expected success.

"We have high hopes and great intent to get that gold medal but for us our last big hit out was the Commonwealth Games where we got fourth. As a nation in regards to netball that's unheard of," Taurua said.

"I'm really happy about the progression we have made in a short space of time. We haven't been able to get to the level I want but over the last couple of weeks the value we have in our hearts and our passion to resurrect our game has been a really important component for us."

On aspect in the Ferns' favour is they sit on the favourable side of the draw, with one of England, Jamaica or Norma Plummer's South Africa set to miss the knockouts.

"I'm really happy we're on our side of the draw. Things happen for a reason so we'll take it."