New Zealand national netball team

The New Zealand national netball team, commonly known as the Silver Ferns, represent New Zealand in international netball. The team take their nickname from the Silver Tree Fern (Cyathea dealbata), which is an emblem for many New Zealand sports teams.[1] The Silver Ferns were formed in 1938 as a representative New Zealand team to tour Australia. To date, they have been one of the most dominant national netball teams in the world, along with Australia, and have a winning record against most other netball nations. The Silver Ferns are current world champions and ranked second in the INF World Rankings, behind Australia.

New Zealand
Silver Ferns logo.svg
Official logo
Nickname(s)Silver Ferns
AssociationNetball New Zealand
ConfederationOceania Netball Federation
Head coachNoeline Taurua
Asst coachDebbie Fuller
CaptainGina Crampton
Most capsLaura Langman (163)
World ranking2 Steady
Kit body netball.svg
Team colours
Kit skirt netball.svg
Team colours
First international
Australia 40–11 New Zealand
Melbourne, 1938
Netball World Cup
Appearances15 (Debuted in 1963)
2019 placing1st
Best result1st (1967, 1979, 1987, 2003, 2019)
Commonwealth Games
Appearances6 (Debuted in 1998)
2018 placing3rd (2022)
Best result1st (2006, 2010)

The Silver Ferns compete annually for the Constellation Cup; a home-and-away test series with Australia, and also play test matches with other major netball countries, including England and Jamaica, on a regular basis. They have competed at every Netball World Cup since its inauguration in 1963, and in every Commonwealth Games since netball's inclusion in 1998. The Silver Ferns have won the World Cup five times (in 1967, 1979, 1987, 2003 and 2019), and have won the netball gold medal at the Commonwealth Games twice (in 2006 and 2010).

The Silver Ferns are administered by Netball New Zealand, the national governing body for netball in the country. Players for the national team are usually selected from ANZ Premiership teams. The coach of the Silver Ferns is former national team player Noeline Taurua, who replaced Janine Southby in the role in August 2018.[2]


Formation and early yearsEdit

Netball was introduced into New Zealand as "women's basketball" in 1906[3][4] or 1907,[5][6] and by 1924 the New Zealand Basketball Association was formed to administer the game on a national basis.[3] In 1938, the New Zealand Basketball Association sent the first New Zealand representative women's basketball team to tour Australia. The team's emblem and colours, a Silver Fern on a black uniform, had previously been decided in the same year that the association was founded. Margaret Matangi captained the first Silver Ferns team in their debut international test series,[7] played according to Australian seven-a-side rules (cf. nine-a-side in New Zealand). In their first international test, the Silver Ferns lost to Australia 40–11.[8] In 1948, ten years after the first tour and three years after the end of World War II, an Australian team toured New Zealand, winning all three test matches against the Silver Ferns, as well as all nine provincial matches; again, the games were played under Australian seven-a-side rules.[5] A team representing the New Zealand Minor Associations toured Fiji in 1954, at the invitation of the Fijian Basketball Association; the Fijians in turn sent a representative team to New Zealand in 1957.[5] New Zealand once again organised a team to tour Australia in 1960. The team was captained by June Waititi and also featured defender, and later long-term coach, Lois Muir.[9]

The international gameEdit

By the time of the 1960 tour of Australia, netball-playing nations from around the world had met to draft the first international rules of netball, which featured seven-a-side teams.[5] The first Netball World Cup (then called the "World Tournament") took place in 1963 in Eastbourne, England. The New Zealand team travelled to the venue by boat, arriving after a voyage of six weeks.[9] The team were captained by Pam Edwards, with Muir as vice-captain. Australia defeated New Zealand 37–36 in a closely contested final to win the tournament.[3] The Silver Ferns would not play again for another four years, until the next World Championships in Perth. Captained by Judy Blair, New Zealand defeated Australia 43–40 to win the tournament.[9]

In 1970, New Zealand played a visiting Fiji team, before touring England and the Caribbean. Also that same year, the Silver Ferns uniform changed from a black tunic to a black skirt and white shirt, and New Zealand became one of the last nations to adopt the name "netball".[3] New Zealand competed in the third World Championships in Jamaica the following year, again coming second behind Australia. The Silver Ferns toured England in 1974. One year later New Zealand hosted its first World Championships, where the host nation finished third behind Australia and England. Four years later at the 1979 Netball World Championships, the Silver Ferns finished 1st equal, tied with Australia and Trinidad and Tobago.

Regular competitionEdit

The 1980s saw the emergence of regular international competition for the Silver Ferns, as well as increasing television coverage of netball matches in New Zealand.[10] The Silver Ferns competed in two World Championships, in 1983 and 1987. The 1983 Championships were held in Singapore, where New Zealand were defeated in the finals by Australia; four years later, the Silver Ferns defeated Australia to win the 1987 Championships in Glasgow. Starting from 1985, the Silver Ferns have played international tests on an annual basis. In 1989, New Zealand achieved a historic clean-sweep test series win over Australia. It was also the year in which netball was included in the World Games, where New Zealand progressed undefeated to emerge as champions. The Silver Ferns subsequently won the New Zealand Sportsteam of the Year (team award) that year.[9] In the 1990s, the Silver Ferns contested three World Championships but did not manage to win any of them. The 1999 Championship final between Australia and New Zealand was the highest-ever rating programme for televisor TV2.[3] Another trans-Tasman Silver Ferns match in 2008 attracted a higher television audience than for a recent Bledisloe Cup–deciding rugby union match.[11]

Recent historyEdit

The Silver Ferns have had several successes in the 2000s. The Silver Ferns once again emerged as world champions after winning the 2003 World Championships in Jamaica. 2005 was a similarly successful year, in which they won all eight international tests, with comfortable series victories over England and Australia, capped off with a tri-series win over Jamaica and Barbados. That year they also posted their highest ever score against Australia, winning 61–36 in Auckland.[3] In 2006, New Zealand won gold at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, but were defeated by Australia at the final of 2007 World Championships in Auckland the following year. In 2009, the first World Netball Series was contested in England, with the Silver Ferns defeating Jamaica in the grand final to win the inaugural tournament.[12] Success was repeated the following year at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, with New Zealand defeating Australia in a dramatic 66–64 double-overtime gold medal playoff win.[13] Described by The New Zealand Herald as "arguably the most incredible netball test ever", the game won the team the Lonsdale Cup of the New Zealand Olympic Committee in 2010 for the most outstanding contribution to an Olympic or Commonwealth sport.[14]

The Ferns claimed their first Quad Series title in September 2017.[15] Despite this, the team recorded losses to England, Jamaica and Australia in 2017 and 2018, a form slump which culminated in a fourth-place finish at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, marking the first time New Zealand had ever not won a medal in the history of the Games.[16] They then dropped to third in the INF World Rankings, falling outside the top two positions for the first time since the rankings began in 2008.[17] The sharp drop-off in form and results led to Janine Southby resigning as head coach on 20 July 2018.[18] She was replaced one month later by former national team player and current coach of the Sunshine Coast Lightning team in Australia, Noeline Taurua.[2] Captain Laura Langman, who became captain in 2018,[19] reached 146 national team caps in October that year, overtaking Irene van Dyk as the most capped player in New Zealand netball history.[20] The following year the Silver Ferns won the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool, reversing their recent slump in form.[21]

Competitive recordEdit

Netball World Cup
Year Championship Location Placing
1963 1st World Championships Eastbourne, England   2nd place
1967 2nd World Championships Perth, Australia   1st
1971 3rd World Championships Kingston, Jamaica   2nd place
1975 4th World Championships Auckland, New Zealand   3rd place
1979 5th World Championships Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago   Joint 1st
1983 6th World Championships Singapore   2nd place
1987 7th World Championships Glasgow, Scotland   1st
1991 8th World Championships Sydney, Australia   2nd place
1995 9th World Championships Birmingham, England   3rd place
1999 10th World Championships Christchurch, New Zealand   2nd place
2003 11th World Championships Kingston, Jamaica   1st
2007 12th World Championships Auckland, New Zealand   2nd place
2011 13th World Championships Singapore   2nd place
2015 14th World Cup Sydney, Australia   2nd place
2019 15th World Cup Liverpool, England   1st
Netball at the Commonwealth Games
Year Games Event Location Placing
1998 XVI Games 1st Netball Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   2nd place
2002 XVII Games 2nd Netball Manchester, England   2nd place
2006 XVIII Games 3rd Netball Melbourne, Australia   1st
2010 XIX Games 4th Netball Delhi, India   1st
2014 XX Games 5th Netball Glasgow, Scotland   2nd place
2018 XXI Games 6th Netball Gold Coast, Australia 4th
2022 XXII Games 7th Netball Birmingham, United Kingdom   3rd place
Netball at the World Games
Year Games Event Location Placing
1985 2nd World Games 1st Netball London, England   1st
1989 3rd World Games 2nd Netball Karlsruhe, Germany   1st
1993 4th World Games 3rd Netball The Hague, Netherlands   2nd place
Fast5 World Netball Series (formerly Fastnet)
Year Tournament Location Placing
2009 1st World Series Manchester, England   1st
2010 2nd World Series Liverpool, England   1st
2011 3rd World Series Liverpool, England   2nd
2012 4th World Series Auckland, New Zealand   1st
2013 5th World Series Auckland, New Zealand   1st
2014 6th World Series Auckland, New Zealand   1st
2016 7th World Series Melbourne, Australia   1st
2017 8th World Series Melbourne, Australia 4th
2018 9th World Series Melbourne, Australia   1st


Sheryl Wells (later Sheryl, Lady Wells) was the manager of the national team from 1992 to 2004.[22] Wells was succeeded as manager by Jackie Barron, who had previously managed the Under-21 netball team and been to two World Youth Cups (in 1996 and 2000).[23][24] Barron retired from the post in 2009[25] and was succeeded by Esther Molloy, who is the team's current manager.[26] Up until 2008, the team manager was a voluntary position. In 2008, it became a full-time role.[27]


There have been 11 coaches of the national team since 1938. The following is a complete list:[28]

No. Name Years
1 Myrtle Muir 1938–1948
2 Dixie Cockerton 1960–1963
3 Taini Jamison 1967–1971
4 Lois Muir 1974–1988
5 Lyn Gunson 1989–1993
6 Leigh Gibbs 1994–1997
7 Yvonne Willering 1997–2001
8 Ruth Aitken 2002–2011
9 Waimarama Taumaunu 2011–2015
10 Janine Southby 2015–2018
11 Noeline Taurua 2018–present


Current teamEdit

The current squad was selected for the 2022 Netball Quad Series.

2022 New Zealand squad roster
Players Coaches
Name Pos DOB Height Club Nat Caps
Karin Burger WD, GD, GK (1993-04-12) 12 April 1993 (age 29) 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in) Mainland Tactix   33
Gina Crampton (c) WA, C (1993-12-07) 7 December 1993 (age 28) 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in) Northern Stars   52
Sulu Fitzpatrick GK, GD, WD (1992-08-20) 20 August 1992 (age 30) 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) Northern Mystics   16
Kayla Johnson WD, GD, C (1992-02-13) 13 February 1992 (age 30) 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in) Northern Stars   50
Kelly Jury GK, GD (1996-10-22) 22 October 1996 (age 26) 1.92 m (6 ft 4 in) Central Pulse   30
Phoenix Karaka GK, GD, WD (1993-11-06) 6 November 1993 (age 29) 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in) Northern Mystics   34
Claire Kersten WD, C (1989-07-09) 9 July 1989 (age 33) 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in) Central Pulse   21
Tiana Metuarau GA, WA, GS (2001-01-15) 15 January 2001 (age 21) 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in) Central Pulse   6
Grace Nweke GS (2002-02-07) 7 February 2002 (age 20) 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in) Northern Mystics   4
Mila Reuelu-Buchanan C, WA (1998-05-11) 11 May 1998 (age 24) 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in) Northern Stars   1
Shannon Saunders C, WA (1990-10-12) 12 October 1990 (age 32) 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) Southern Steel   86
Filda Vui GA, WA, GS (1996-04-16) 16 April 1996 (age 26) 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) Northern Mystics   0
Maia Wilson GS, GA (1997-09-21) 21 September 1997 (age 25) 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in) Northern Stars   28
Samantha Winders WD, C, WA (1995-06-05) 5 June 1995 (age 27) 1.71 m (5 ft 7 in) Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic   47
Head coach
Assistant coach

Esther Molloy
Medical Lead:
Dr Melinda Parnell
Physiotherapist: Mark Overington
Strength and conditioning: Guy Mothersole
Performance Analyst:
Hayden Croft
Head of High Performance:
Keir Hansen

  • (c) – Captain
  • (cc) – Co-captain
  • (vc) – Vice-captain
  •   – Injury / maternity leave
  • (TRP) – Temporary Replacement Player
Player profiles: Team website Last updated: 23 April 2022


Notable past playersEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Wilson, John (23 September 2007). "Government and nation – Wearing the silver fern". Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Archived from the original on 19 October 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Netball: Noeline Taurua announced as Silver Ferns coach". New Zealand Herald. 30 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "History". Netball New Zealand. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Pulse vs Melbourne Vixens ANZ Netball Championship" (Press release). Louisa Wall, MP. 5 April 2008. Retrieved 11 October 2008.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ a b c d Coatsworth, Leona Mary (18 September 2007). "Basketball, Women's Outdoor". An Encyclopedia of New Zealand 1966 (A. H. McLintock, ed.). Retrieved 12 September 2008.
  6. ^ "New Zealand in 1907 – Dominion status". New Zealand History online. Ministry for Culture and Heritage (New Zealand). 22 September 2008. Retrieved 23 September 2008.
  7. ^ Silver Ferns Press Release (22 August 2008). "Silver Ferns Team Named". Scoop. Retrieved 27 August 2008.
  8. ^ Granville, Alan (27 June 2005). "Silver Ferns v Australia history". Retrieved 29 September 2008.
  9. ^ a b c d "Silver Ferns History". Netball New Zealand. Archived from the original on 13 October 2007. Retrieved 18 September 2008.
  10. ^ Johannsen, Dana (19 September 2008). "Netball's long road to equality". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 23 September 2008.
  11. ^ "Silver Ferns out rate All Blacks". 18 September 2008. Retrieved 30 September 2008.
  12. ^ NZPA (12 October 2009). "Silver Ferns win World Series". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 12 October 2009.
  13. ^ Leggat, David; Cleaver, Dylan (15 October 2010). "Golden Ferns win thriller against Oz". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2 November 2010.
  14. ^ "Netball: Silver Ferns recognised by NZOC". The NZ Herald. NZPA. 21 December 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  15. ^ "Silver Ferns shine in Invercargill to crush Australia and capture Quad Series". Archived from the original on 3 September 2017.
  16. ^ "Netball: Silver Ferns miss Commonwealth Games medals for first time". New Zealand Herald. 15 April 2018.
  17. ^ "Netball: Silver Ferns drop to third in world rankings". 3 July 2018.
  18. ^ New Zealand, Radio (20 July 2018). "Silver Ferns coach Janine Southby has resigned". Radio New Zealand. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  19. ^ "Laura Langman voted in as Silver Ferns captain". 13 September 2018.
  20. ^ "Netball: Silver Ferns suffer another loss to Australian Diamonds in Constellation Cup". NZ Herald. 10 October 2018.
  21. ^ Egan, Brendon (22 July 2019). "Netball World Cup: Silver Ferns upset Australia to capture title". Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  22. ^ "Netball New Zealand appoint new President". Netball New Zealand. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  23. ^ "Jackie Barron". New Zealand Olympic Committee. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  24. ^ "Netball: New manager for Silver Ferns". The New Zealand Herald. 21 July 2004. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  25. ^ "Board Members". Knox College and Salmond College. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  26. ^ "Esther Molloy". Silver Ferns. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  27. ^ McFadden, Suzanne (29 July 2019). "Netball World Cup: Charlotte spins her web around Silver Ferns' hearts". Stuff. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  28. ^ "Coaches". Netball New Zealand. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  29. ^ "(2022) Netball Quad Series". Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  30. ^ "Staff". Retrieved 23 April 2022.

External linksEdit

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