By Kirstie Stanway
The Silver Ferns have officially begun life without Laura Langman with the selection of two rookies for next month's Quad Series in South Africa and England.
Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic team mates Kelly Jury and Sam Sinclair are set to make their international debuts on the tour, both with big shoes to fill.
"It's super exciting," 21-year-old Sinclair told Newshub. “It's just another step closer to taking the court and being capped as a Silver Fern."
Sinclair has international experience. She is a former New Zealand under-21 representative and played for the Fast 5 Ferns in Melbourne in October. Her elevation to the national side has come sooner than most would have expected, however, with the opportunity created by the absence of long serving centre Laura Langman.
Langman chose to further her career across the Tasman where she will line up for the Sunshine Coast Lightning next year. It’s a decision that has made her unavailable for the Ferns.
"No one can replace Laura,” Sinclair said, although she added she hopes her own selection was on merit.
Sinclair’s first opportunity for the Ferns could come against world champions Australia in Durban on January 28.
"I'm just taking it as it comes and being ready for it because if it does happen I don't want to be in la-la land when I get out there."
Jury’s selection was aided by the unavailability of former captain Casey Kopua and the retirement of veteran defender Leana de Bruin.
At 192 centimetres, Jury is a versatile defender with potentially years ahead of her in the black dress.
The 20-year-old has leapfrogged Phoenix Karaka and Storm Purvis, who were both selected in the Ferns Constellation Cup squad earlier this year.
The Silver Ferns begin their tour in Durban with the Test against Australia before they head to the UK to face England and South Africa.
The full Silver Ferns touring squad:
Katrina Grant (captain), Maria Tutaia, Gina Crampton, Shannon Francois, Anna Harrison, Kelly Jury, Bailey Mes, Grace Rasmussen, Te Paea Selby-Rickit, Sam Sinclair, Jane Watson, Maia Wilson.