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Steel duo on trial for Ferns

NATHAN BURDON
Last updated 05:00 23/07/2013

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Strong performances for the Southern Steel during the trans-Tasman league have seen Phillipa Finch and Rachel Rasmussen earn Silver Ferns trials.

The Steel pair were named amongst a 24-strong group of players invited to trial in front of Ferns coach Waimarama Taumaunu over a four-day camp starting in Auckland on August 5.

Places in both the Silver Ferns team to take on Australia in the Constellation Cup series and the national accelerant squad will be up for grabs. Fellow Steel players Courtney Tairi, Shannon Francois and Jodi Brown have also been selected for the trials.

"Trials are the final opportunity for players to impress the national selectors and with 2014 Commonwealth Games just around the corner we want to give players every opportunity to push for selection," Taumaunu said.

Tairi was on the fringe of Silver Ferns selection last year before a season-ending knee injury, while Francois' stocks have fallen somewhat this season after being a member of the Ferns squad last year.

Steel defender Sulu Tone-Fitzpatrick could consider herself unlucky to miss out.

The five-test Constellation Cup series starts in Invercargill on September 15.

Current Silver Ferns squad members: Jodi Brown, Leana de Bruin, Katrina Grant, Casey Kopua, Laura Langman, Catherine Latu, Camilla Lees, Julianna Naoupu (subject to medical clearance), Grace Rasmussen, Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit, Anna Thompson, Maria Tutaia, Irene van Dyk

Current National Accelerant Squad Members: Shannon Francois, Ellen Halpenny, Jessica Moulds*, Elias Shadrock

Invited Players: Liana Leota, Joline Henry, Rachel Rasmussen, Jane Watson, Courtney Tairi, Phillipa Finch, Katarina Cooper

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- The Southland Times

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