Netball World Cup 2019: Aussie great Liz Ellis says Silver Ferns shouldn't be underestimated

Australian netball great Liz Ellis feels the Silver Ferns will be a "real danger" at the Netball World Cup, thanks to the high standards set by coach Noeline Taurua.

New Zealand opens their World Cup campaign in Liverpool on Friday against Malawi, who stunned the Silver Ferns at last year's Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

The loss was part of a dismal Commonwealth Games for New Zealand, who failed to medal for the first time after finishing fourth.

Since then Taurua has taken over the national program, and while they're outside favourites to win the cup, Ellis thinks the Silver Ferns shouldn't be underestimated.

"I'm very interested to see how Noeline Taurua goes with the Silver Ferns. The team is ranked fourth, which might suit them, as they continue a big rebuild," Ellis wrote in her Players Voice column.

"Noeline is a super coach, and I loved her selection strategy. She came out very early in the piece and said, 'If you're not up to scratch with your fitness, you won't be selected'.

"As a result, there are a couple of players sitting on their butts in New Zealand, who played well in their ANZ Championship but didn't get selected. When you set those really strong accountabilities, it tends to work out well for you.

"Noeline only recently took over as Silver Ferns coach. It probably should have happened a couple of appointments ago. But, when she missed out on the job last time they advertised it, she came to Australia and coached Sunshine Coast Lightning to unbelievable success.

"The strength of her coaching is even more evident this year, I think. She lost Geva Mentor, and Caitlin Bassett from her team two bookends, two absolute superstars yet the Lightning is sitting in second place and looking good.

"Noeline has an eye for talent and a great ability to build a team. I think we'll see the outcome of that with this Silver Ferns side. She's also really canny and coaches for the players.

"When you talk to her about coaching, you can tell she really loves the players and wants to bring out the best in them.

"I think, for all these reasons, New Zealand are a real danger in this World Cup. I like the way they've backed themselves." 

For Taurua, she says the Ferns are "ready to go" after a week of preparation in England.

"I'm rapt. I'm really pleased where we're currently sitting, the progression that we've made over time and just the intent of the team.

"We can't wait to get out there. I think that's what it's all about now. We've had enough training, and we're ready to go."