Silver Ferns recruit Francois for SA clash
Thu, 11 Oct 2012 6:46p.m.
By Ashlee Tulloch
The Silver Ferns flew to Adelaide this morning ahead of their first quad series test against South Africa.
After overcoming several injury issues, all 12 players claim to be fully fit and ready to go, including late call-up Shannon Francois.
Casey Williams is used to travelling, but travelling and not playing because of injury is not something she wants to make a habit of.
“Everything's good,” she says. “I trained fully yesterday with the team and I’ve had no pain now for a couple of weeks now. So I’m definitely looking forward to taking part.”
Maria Tutaia also has a knee injury and joined Williams on the bench in their third and final Constellation Cup match, but coach Waimarama Taumaunu is pleased with their progress.
“Both Casey and Maria trained fully yesterday and both reported no pain so that's as much as we can hope for and I’m certainly pleased.”
With mid-courter Grace Rasmussen ruled out with an ankle injury on Monday, Taumaunu gave Francois an early birthday present this week. After leading her Otago side to a provincial title on Friday, the soon to be 22-year-old was given the call up.
“I think I was quite speechless, I was kind of like, ‘Wow, what’s going on,’ but obviously had to say yes straight away,” Francois says.
Taumaunu is confident she can do the job.
“Certainly someone to keep an eye on for the future and someone I’d expect to be a Silver Fern properly not in the too distant future.”
Yesterday was the team’s one and only training session together since the Constellation Cup, so between now and Sunday, there's still a lot of work to be done.
But having only lost to South Africa once in 23 meetings, the odds are certainly in the Ferns' favour.
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