Silver Ferns v Australia: Rookie midcourt Maddy Gordon nearer to NZ debut in Constellation Cup

A return from injury, a potential debutant and the omission of two stars feature in an extended Silver Ferns squad named for a series they've craved for nearly a decade. 

Midcourt Maddy Gordon has been named to take on Australia in next week’s Constellation Cup, one step closer to debuting for her country.

"Yeah it's so exciting," she says. "It's just a dream come true really."

The 21-year-old is craving a chance to represent New Zealand for the first time and Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua has confirmed she will likely get that debut. 

"At the moment, I'm so excited... I'm a little bit nervous," she says. "I know, when it does come, it will just mean the world to me."  

Says Taurua: "My intention is to get her out on court, but obviously she has to fight for it, like all the players do." 

And she's got a fight on her hands, named alongside six other players in a stacked midcourt. 

"All of them have a bit of a point of difference, but are beasts in terms of their athleticism," says Dame Noleine, who has had to name a squad with only three defenders - Tactix duo Karin Burger and Jane Watson, alongside Sulu Fitzpatrick. 

"Barring injury, I'm happy with the three I have," she says. "We actually took three into the previous series." 

Missing is Katrina Rore, who's out pregnant, and Kelly Jury, who Newshub understands missed the fitness requirements. 

Also named in the 14 is veteren shooter Bailey Mes, who will play her first game for the Ferns in more than a year, after recovering from knee surgery.

"I've definitely missed it and am just stoked to be back with the team," she says.

Mes will combine with three other shooters, but not named is Te Paea Selby Rickit, who is also understood to have missed the Ferns fitness requirements.. 

"We always get to this stage where we've gotta walk the talk," says Dame Noeline. "For us to play against the world No.1 is a great tester." 

The world champions are ready to test themselves against the best.

Join us next Tuesday for live updates of the Silver Ferns v Australia Constellation Cup opener