Northern Quad Series: Silver Ferns still hurting, hoping to make amends for shock home series loss to England

On Sunday morning (NZ time), the curtain will rise on international netball for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

And the Silver Ferns aren't underestimating the importance of the Northern Quad Series to rebuild their confidence, heading into this year's Commonwealth Games.

The reigning world champions will face trans-Tasman rivals Australia in the opening round and coach Dame Noeline Taurua is confident they're the most prepared they've been in months.

The Ferns have blown off the last of the cobwebs, before the long-awaited series begins

For the first time since the coronavirus took hold, four of the best netballing nations will go head to head.

"This series is a good opportunity to eye each other up," admits Dame Noeline. 

But that's not the only reason they're there. After a home series defeat to England in September, the team are determined to right the wrongs.

"These experiences that we have on court are going to set us up for learnings that we need to do," says Taurua. 

Building confidence is also key for returning mums Phoenix Karaka and Kayla Johnson, who have been out of the game for some time. 

"Both of them have done a lot of work over the Christmas break and they've been performing quite well," says Dame Noeline. "I think the next step for both of them is getting back on the court." 

Along with the rest of the squad, who are in peak condition, even by Taurua's notorious standards.

"We are really happy with how everyone has presented themselves and our current numbers, so we know we will all foot it against the opposition, so tick in that regard." 

This will be their last chance to make a statement before the gold medal goes on the line at Birmingham. 

Join us at 5am Sunday for live updates of the Silver Ferns v Australia Northern Quad Series encounter