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NZ U-21 braced for Netball World Youth Cup

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/06/2017 Angelo Risso

The New Zealand under-21 netball side will look to put the finishing touches on their preparation for the Netball World Youth Cup in Botswana next fortnight when they assemble for camp in Auckland.

The Kiri Wills-coached side, including a number of ANZ Premiership players, convened on Friday and will fly out to South Africa next week.

They'll then head off to Gaborone for the Cup, in which they've been drawn in a pool including Northern Ireland, Samoa, Scotland and Sri Lanka.

There's plenty of pressure on the defending champions to go back-to-back in the tournament, with plenty of offensive and defensive prowess.

Abby Erwood and Kelly Jury shape up as options to partner Northern Mystics-based captain Michaela Sokolich-Beatson in the defensive third, while Maia Wilson will likely line up as goal shooter.

Premiership players such as Tiana Metuarau and Monica Falkner, meanwhile, will jostle for the second attacking role.

Wills was bullish about the side's chances.

"I've been really impressed with how they've all stood up in critical moments in massive matches for their teams," Wills said.

"Players like Tiana for the Pulse and Monica for the Magic nailing some big shots, and our captain Michaela picking up crucial turnover ball.

"These players are young, but they've done work - they're strong, hard athletes and we're all looking forward to representing New Zealand.

"We've been working hard for a long time and can't wait to get into it."

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