Netball: Bailey Mes returns in Silver Ferns Constellation Cup squad

Coach Dame Noeline Taurua and her selectors have named an extended squad for next week's Constellation Cup series against Australia.

The squad includes shooter Bailey Mes, who returns from a long injury absence, and rising midcourter Maddy Gordon, who's in line to make her international debut.

Dame Noeline, who typically opts for a 12-player squad, says the larger group is a means of building depth and experience, with the 2022 Commonwealth Games and 2023 World Cup on the horizon.

She's also focused on the midcourt, saying she's eager to see some of the country's young talent on an international court.

"Silver Ferns and New Zealand netball is laden with amazing midcourt players at the moment," says Dame Noeline. "They all have a point of difference, and they all are impressively fit and hard workers. 

"There will be a time when somebody would have to be dropped because of numbers. That time is not now, as we continue to build depth in 2022 and provide opportunities to the extended squad."

Gordon is the brightest star in that group and is the only player in the side yet to make their international debut. The 20-year-old was a revelation for Central Pulse in their run to a second consecutive ANZ Premiership in August.

A key component in the Silver Ferns' 2019 World Cup triumph, Mes hasn't played for New Zealand since a serious knee injury suffered during the Nations Cup in January 2020.

The squad will assemble on Sunday, as they build to the opening test at Christchurch Arena on March 2, where the Diamonds will play their first international in more than a year.

"I know the Diamonds will be excited to get back out on court after such a long break from playing international netball,” Dame Noeline says. "We are equally excited to play all four tests against the world No.1 netball team on our home soil in front of our home crowd.

"It's series like these, against our long-time rivals, which really showcases the best netball ever."

Silver Ferns' Constellation Cup squad:


Ameliaranne Ekenasio

Monica Falkner

Bailey Mes

Maia Wilson


Maddy Gordon

Gina Crampton

Claire Kersten

Kimiora Poi

Shannon Saunders

Whitney Souness

Samantha Winders


Karin Burger

Sulu Fitzpatrick

Jane Watson

Join us for live updates of the first Constellation Cup test between the Silver Ferns and Australia on March 2