Henry Rounce: Cool breeze of change blows through storm-tossed Silver Ferns

It's strange the difference two people can make.

Laura Langman and Noeline Taurua are more than just a breath of fresh air into the Silver Ferns.

They've arrived as a ferocious gale - one that's blown the barn doors wide open and scattered Netball New Zealand's independent review documents into the atmosphere.

Yet this isn't a destructive wind, so much as a wind of change. It's the type of gust that picks a sagging kite up from the sand and thrusts it into the sky.

All of a sudden, the Silver Ferns are watchable again. The Commonwealth Games capitulation is almost forgotten, chucked in the backseat like a pair of old football boots and a six-month-old energy drink.  

It's a remarkable change, considering the Ferns still haven't played a game since their plans went up in smoke on the Gold Coast.

But cast your eye over the team training this week and you can hear the excited chatter in the forest.

The level appears to have lifted already - there are new standards and new structures. The relief teacher has finally disappeared, so you can’t get away with tossing paper balls around the class anymore.

Langman brings that sunny approach back into a side that's become used to dealing with dark clouds. She's the veteran midcourter who's won it all - wearing that distinctive smile and speaking with that twangy accent that's as comforting to netball fans as Van Dyk was under the hoop.

Langman is everywhere on the court. She'd wear several bibs at once if she could - getting a hand in there, launching a pass, blonde ponytail flying through the air.

Then there's Taurua. She commands respect - pacing along the court, whistle in mouth, living every moment.

She demands commitment and brings an unrelenting passion to the job.

They are the two key figures on the chessboard - the most high-profile - but there’s no guarantee of instant success.

There is work to do with the Ferns. Taurua's appointment, and the reintroduction of Langman and Casey Kopua have papered over the cracks of a dented Netball New Zealand office.

But after a fractured few months, there's an undoubted feeling of positivity and optimism flowing out of the Ferns camp.

You get the feeling they could lose all their games in the Quad Series and things still wouldn’t seem that bad. With Taurua and Langman, anything is possible.

England have noticed it too, joking that Taurua's presence automatically adds a few extra goals to the New Zealand scoreboard.

Saturday's test against the Roses in Auckland is the first chance to show off the new, improved Ferns, although in a way, they'll be more of a blast from the past. 

The Ferns will hope they can be swept along for the ride - with the Taurua and Langman gale turning the Quad Series into a breeze.

Henry Rounce is a Newshub cross-platform reporter.