Silver Ferns captain Julie Seymour has been ruled out of the first netball test against Australia in Merlbourne on Sunday.
Seymour’s Achilles tendon injury will be reassessed next week and it is hoped the experienced midcourter will join the team in Brisbane to prepare for the second test on November 2.
Former South African defender Leana de Bruin is also unavailable due to personal reasons, leaving coach Ruth Aitken to name an extended squad for the return series against the world champions.
Uncapped Southern Steel midcourter Wendy Telfer has been added to compensate for the captain’s absence, joining Liana Barrett-Chase who was called in when Seymour was ruled out of the 61-22 third test drubbing of England last weekend in Palmerston North.
Silver Fern squad members Anna Thompson and Erika Burgess will travel to Brisbane as training partners to assist in the preparation for the second test.
Meanwhile, Australia will be without their two most experienced shooters after Catherine Cox had her season effectively ended by an ankle injury.
Cox, who played in just one of Australia’s first four tests this year, will miss the series because of a partial ligament tear.
First-choice captain and goal attack Sharelle McMahon has missed the entire international campaign due to knee surgery.
With Cox and McMahon both sidelined, Australian coach Norma Plummer blooded Kate Beveridge and Caitlin Bassett in the recent tests against England and New Zealand, where they lined up alongside the slightly more experienced but still young Susan Pratley and Natalie Medhurst.
Silver Ferns squad: Liana Barrett-Chase, Maree Bowden, Katrina Grant, Paula Griffin, Joline Henry, Laura Langman (vice-captain), Sheryl Scanlan, Julie Seymour (captain), Wendy Telfer, Maria Tutaia, Irene van Dyk, Casey Williams (vice-captain), Daneka Wipiiti.