Williams may miss Fast5 after Quad Series

LIAM NAPIER
Last updated 05:00 27/09/2012
Casey Williams
Jason Oxenham/Fairfax NZ
WORKLOAD MANAGED: Casey Williams is battling to be fit to lead the Silver Ferns in the Fast5 tournament.

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Casey Williams is no certainty to lead the Silver Ferns in the inaugural Fast5 tournament in November.

Williams missed the 2-1 Constellation Cup series victory over Australia.

However, she is expected to return for next month's Quad Series.

The inspirational defender has numerous injury concerns and her workload is being carefully managed to preserve her longevity.

Contingency plans are in place should her body not fully recover for netball's equivalent of rugby sevens and Twenty20 cricket.

Ferns coach Waimarama Taumaunu yesterday unveiled her 10-strong squad for the Fast5 international tournament, which features 20 games involving the six best international teams over three days in Auckland.

Mystics shooter Cathrine Latu was the major omission and Magic defender Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit was on standby for Williams.

Another option was to stick with three defenders and use the versatile Kayla Cullen as cover.

"It will depend on the condition she [Williams] comes out of the Quad Series," Taumaunu said. "At this stage, we may go for another midcourter. It would be between Grace [Rasmussen] and Te Huinga.

"Grace can shoot and she's fit. It would depend on whether we could run with just three defenders, or put Kayla back into the defensive end."

The five-a-side tournament has been given a huge vote of confidence with the Government, in partnership with Auckland Council, investing $600,000 over the next three years.

After the Quad Series, the Ferns have just seven days to prepare for the revolutionary tactics that will be displayed in Fast5.

Power plays, rolling subs and the ability to nail two and three-point shots from outside the circle add new dimensions.

"Yes, it is challenging," Taumaunu said.

"But it's exciting and new. We won't be any more behind the eight ball because no-one has played it. We'll be learning as we go and we'll have a few practices before we get into it."

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