Silver Ferns head coach Noeline Taurua has included two new faces to her Netball World Cup-winning side to face the Australian Diamonds next month.

Defender Michaela Sokolich-Beatson comes in for Casey Kopua who announced her retirement from all netball at the end of the successful Netball World Cup campaign in July.

Taurua has also added Northern Stars shooter Maia Wilson into the mix for the Constellation Cup (Australian leg only) which starts at Horncastle Arena in Christchurch on October 13.

Maia Wilson against Australian defender Courtney Bruce. Photo / Photosport
Maia Wilson against Australian defender Courtney Bruce. Photo / Photosport

Taurua said selection of the 11 players who won gold in England this year, along with two of the non-travelling Netball World Cup reserves in Sokolich-Beatson and Wilson, was reward for the work and commitment they had shown over the past 12 months.


"The Constellation Cup is an opportunity for us to continue to grow and learn as a group and build on the gains we had made at the Netball World Cup," Taurua said. "We cannot afford to rest on our laurels and think one cup is enough. The players who have been selected have once again met the fitness standards that are required to play the International game.

"The transtasman battle is arguably one of the fiercest netball rivalries ever. The Constellation Cup now has an added sting to it considering our last encounter at the Worlds."

Michaela Sokolich-Beatson during the Quad Series. Photo / Photosport
Michaela Sokolich-Beatson during the Quad Series. Photo / Photosport

There will also be two specialist coaches used during the four tests with Silver Ferns assistant coach Deb Fuller unavailable to tour for this series after a busy Netball World Cup campaign.

Former New Zealand defender and coach Yvonne Willering, who was used as a specialist coach during the build-up to July's Netball World Cup, will continue in the role while Jane Woodlands-Thompson will also join the Silver Ferns camp for the Constellation Cup.

The former Adelaide Thunderbirds head coach is highly regarded for her roles in the High-Performance arena, having signed on with Collingwood last year as the General Manager of Women's Sport, and knows the New Zealand game well having spent time with the Northern Mystics as a coaching consultant.

Taurua said she was looking forward to working with both coaches as they aim to get the best out of the athletes at the end of a demanding season.

"Yvonne and Jane are master coaches. They have so many years of experience behind them. They will bring fresh ideas, challenge our thinking, strengthen our current strategies and help us to continue to grow our game," she said.

"It has been an amazing year for the Silver Ferns in winning the Netball World Cup. It is important that we build on the momentum from that experience and strengthen our base so we can consistently perform at the highest level. This Constellation Cup is the first step in the overall plan."


The Silver Ferns will come into camp in Christchurch on October 8 to prepare for the two tests to be played in New Zealand.

The Constellation Cup moves to Spark Arena in Auckland on October 16, where the match will mark the 150th Test between the two nations, before heading to Sydney and Perth in Australia.

Silver Ferns Constellation Cup team
Laura Langman (captain), Karin Burger, Gina Crampton, Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Maria Folau, Phoenix Karaka, Bailey Mes, Katrina Rore, Shannon Saunders, Te Paea Selby-Rickit, Michaela Sokolich-Beatson, Jane Watson and Maia Wilson.