Netball: Silver Ferns recall Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Jane Watson, but captain Gina Crampton takes sabbatical

Former Silver Ferns captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio and defender Jane Watson have earned recalls to the New Zealand squad for 2022/2023.

Shooter Ekenasio and defender Watson both return from maternity leave, after missing out on selection for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. 

Meanwhile, Karen Burger has also been named, as she continues to recover from a recent foot surgery.

Silver Ferns captain Gina Crampton has been included in the squad, but will be unavailable for upcoming series against Jamaica and Australia, taking a sabbatical for the remainder of the year.

"Gina is the only player from the Netball World Cup 2019 finals who has consistently been available for the past three years, and has carried a heavy workload both on and off the court," said coach Dame Noeline Taurua.

"Gina will be missed out on court, but it will open the door for someone else to gain that international netball experience. It’s positive both ways."

Elle Temu is the newest member of the squad, while Georgia Heffernan and Kristiana Manu’a have both been called into the Silver Ferns development squad for the first time.

Dame Noeline is pleased to have the two groups confirmed before the 2023 Netball World Cup at Cape Town, South Africa.

"We have built a strong foundation at the Commonwealth Games, but need to keep evolving and growing our game," she said. "We need athletes who equally want to evolve and grow as well.

"We need to be open and ready to explore new limits, but doing it from a solid base of strength."

The Silver Ferns team for next month's series against Jamaica will be named on September 7.

Silver Ferns squad: Karin Burger, Gina Crampton, Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Sulu Fitzpatrick, Maddy Gordon, Kate Heffernan, Kayla Johnson, Kelly Jury, Phoenix Karaka, Grace Nweke, Mila Reuelu-Buchanan, Shannon Saunders, Te Paea Selby-Rickit, Whitney Souness, Elle Temu, Jane Watson, Maia Wilson 

Silver Ferns development squad: Kate Burley, Georgia Heffernan, Claire Kersten, Kristiana Manu’a, Bailey Mes, Tiana Metuarau, Kimiora Poi, Peta Toeava, Sam Winders