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Pulse captain back in black with Ekenasio and Burger

Six months after her surprise omission, Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse captain Katrina Rore has made a triumphant return to the Silver Ferns team for July’s Netball World Cup.

On the back of a stellar domestic season, the agile defender makes her return to the international fold alongside Pulse team-mates Ameliaranne Ekenasio and Karin Burger.

There was a sense of surprise and disbelief from the Pulse trio at their selections. For Rore, who became the seventh Silver Fern to register 100 international appearances and is the fourth-most capped in history, but was unceremoniously discarded for the Northern Quad series earlier this year, the joy was palpable.
``I’d prepared myself for the worst while hopefully expecting the best, so I was shocked and it was as close to the feeling as when I was selected for the first time,’’ she said.

``There was that little bit of hope but in my mind, I was trying to protect myself and I’m just very, very happy that it’s come through in the right way.

``This Pulse team this year have helped me out so much. Without them helping me grow on and off the court, I definitely wouldn’t be here.

``Enjoyment is the key. What I’ve learnt from this Pulse season is that when you’re enjoying yourself, enjoying the netball, enjoying the people around you, enjoying what you’ve got, taking it for what it is and realising how quickly it can get taken away from you, that’s when you get to play your best netball.’’

Rore, 32, made her Silver Ferns debut in 2008 and has amassed 125 test caps.
Ekenasio, 28, was probably the most favoured of the Pulse line-up to make the cut but the elegant shooter couldn’t hide her emotion at realising a dream.

``I was 100 percent nervous. I don’t think anyone’s really safe when it comes to selections and I would have probably felt more confident earlier on in the season than I did as it kept creeping closer,’’ she said shortly after the announcement.

``It’s huge and just so emotional. This is a really big deal for me, so I think I’m still in shock a little bit, like it’s still really sinking in.

``It is a special moment because I know how much my family have had to give for it to happen, too, so I feel it’s not just for me but for so many people who have helped me get there.’’

It has been a whirlwind two years for dynamic wing defence Burger, 26, who has taken the ANZ Premiership by storm after being elevated from the Beko Netball League, learning a new position and making the most of her opportunities.
Making her Silver Ferns debut in last year’s Southern Hemisphere-staged Quad Series, Burger has five caps to her name but was left stunned after receiving today’s good news.

``There’s lots of emotions but obviously I’m very excited and happy about it,’’ she said.
``It hasn’t really sunk in yet. If you’d told me a year ago that I’d be where I am today, I would have probably laughed at you. I would not have expected it to happen.
``Over the last year, the journey that I’ve been on and being able to be here has just been amazing. Jumping from not being an option at all to making it to the World Cup team is absolutely astonishing.’’

There was plenty of satisfaction for Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie who has played an instrumental role in the team’s overall and individual player development while guiding them to three straight Grand Finals.
``I’m delighted to have three of them there,’’ she said.
``It’s a massive reflection of the work that they’ve done but, as importantly, the way in which they’ve managed all of that pressure over the last few months, the pressure of performing for the Pulse and the pressure of selection.’’

Silver Ferns Team:
Karin Burger (Pulse), Gina Crampton (Steel), Ameliaranne Ekenasio (Pulse), Maria Folau (Thunderbirds), Phoenix Karaka (Mystics), Casey Kopua (Magic), Laura Langman (captain, Lightning), Bailey Mes (Mystics), Katrina Rore (Pulse), Shannon Saunders (Steel), Te Paea Selby-Rickit (Steel), Jane Watson (Tactix).


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