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Ekenasio out of Silver Ferns' final test

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 19/10/2016 Cathy Walshe

Maria Tutaia's return from injury may be shifted along a little quicker than anticipated with news Ameliaranne Ekenasio won't be in the Silver Ferns team for Thursday's Constellation Cup match against Australia.

Ekenasio has earned 12 caps for New Zealand since her debut against Australia two years ago.

But a combination of illness and family bereavement has meant the 25-year-old goal attack will be replaced by defender Storm Purvis in the match-day 12 for the fourth Test in Invercargill.

Tutaia, who has accumulated 103 caps in an 11-year career to date, hadn't played for New Zealand since last year's netball World Cup in Sydney.

The 29-year-old shooter eased back into the international game with a 30-minute stint in New Zealand's 62-50 third Test loss to Australia on Saturday, when she looked a little out of sorts in shooting 11 from 17.

"I guess I was a bit rusty, coming into that game," she told NZ Newswire.

"My legs haven't functioned as well as they used to, so I'm just slowly finding my feet.

"But I was super stoked I got the opportunity to get out there."

Silver Ferns coach Janine Southby has been using Ekenasio and Te Paea Selby-Rickit to partner goal shoot Bailey Mes, and may be tempted to utilise Tutaia's vast experience as she chases a second win in the four-Test series.

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