Netball: Mainland Tactix duo Karin Burger, Jane Watson impress Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua in race for World Cup spots

Dame Noeline Taurua has kept an especially close eye on this year's ANZ Premiership.

With no time for Silver Ferns trials after the domestic competition, the premiership is the only avenue for players to earn selection for July's World Cup in South Africa. 

One combination in particular has impressed the Silver Ferns coach - Mainland Tactix defensive duo Karin Burger and Jane Watson.  

"It's still wide open in terms of players," Dame Noeline told Newshub. "There are different pockets of people that you can see that are world-class athletes.

Dame Noeline Taurua.
Dame Noeline Taurua. Photo credit: Getty Images

"They are standing up."

Both Burger and Watson missed last season with injury and maternity leave respectively, but so far, they have helped the Tactix reach top spot on the ladder. 

"Everybody has had [feedback] just how well they are doing as individuals, but also as a combination," Dame Noeline continued. "If they are selected, we are really happy to have them."

The pair know their connection is strong. 

"We both pretty much play on instinct and just feeling in what we are doing as individuals," said Burger. "I think we have that invisible thread that links us quite well."

Dame Noeline isn't ruling anyone in or out just yet, and with players stepping up every week, she believes the Ferns can claim that gold medal once again. 

"I feel quietly confident about where we are, knowing the shifts we have made and also the time that we have behind us to make sure we improve by the time we hit the World Cup."

With another eight rounds of the ANZ Premiership to go, players have plenty of time to make those improvements.