Defender Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit has been dropped from the Silver Ferns for the three-test Australian leg of their Constellation Cup series.
The Central Pulse star was named in the squad for the first time, for the two tests against the Diamonds at Invercargill and Auckland, but didn't take the court in either.
Now Silver Ferns coach Waimarama Taumaunu has decided that she needs additional cover in the midcourt for the team's upcoming tests in Adelaide, Melbourne and Canberra. She has selected Shannon Francois in Selby-Rickit's place.
Francois, from the Southern Steel, is yet to play for the Silver Ferns, having come up through the national age-group system.
With the team light for cover at wing defence, centre and wing attack, due to the injuries suffered by Kayla Cullen and Millie Lees, plus the unavailability of Liana Leota, it was thought another midcourt player was better than a defender who's unlikely to see court time anyway.
It's hard on Selby-Rickit, but reward for Francois who is a noted trainer and impressed during the Silver Ferns trials and camps.
Silver Ferns for Australia: Casey Kopua (c), Laura Langman (vc), Jodi Brown, Leana de Bruin, Shannon Francois, Katrina Grant, Joline Henry, Cathrine Latu, Anna Thompson, Courtney Tairi, Maria Tutaia, Irene van Dyk.
- Fairfax Media