Rowberry not ready for international recall   31 May 2005

By Robert Lowe

World championship-winning skipper Anna Rowberry needs more time to recover top form after a long injury layoff, New Zealand netball coach Ruth Aitken said.

Rowberry was a notable absentee from the 12-strong Silver Fern squad named to face Australia in Sydney next month.

The midcourter, who suffered a serious knee injury last July in the 3-0 home test series victory against Australia, returned to action early last month for National Bank Cup side the Diamonds.

But coach Ruth Aitken said Rowberry was not yet 100 per cent despite the good progress she had made in her comeback.

"The confidence is growing with each game," she said.

"But if we’re looking at that top level, that next inch that is needed, then she needs some more time and I’m sure she will get there."

Aitken said Rowberry still had a key role to play for the Silver Ferns and believed she would be a strong contender for the return test against Australia in Auckland in October.

"The door is certainly not shut," she said.

"But she knows as well that this midcourt is jam packed with talent, so she really has to be performing at her best."

Aitken has gone for an even split of four shooters, four midcourters and four defenders for the June 29 clash.

The quartet includes the one newcomer to the squad, goal attack Anna Senio, 24, who has been rewarded for a fine campaign with Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic.

Apart from Senio’s inclusion, there is one other change from the squad that whitewashed England.

Sting midcourter Lesley Rumball, New Zealand’s most capped player with 109 appearances, returns after sitting out that series because of injury.

Silver Fern squad:

Shooters – Irene van Dyk, Jodi Te Huna, Anna Senio, Maria Tutaia; Midcourt – Adine Wilson (captain), Temepara George, Lesley Rumball, Laura Langman; Defenders – Vilimaina Davu, Joline Henry, Anna Scarlett, Casey Williams.

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