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Tall Ferns squad reduced to 12 for Nantes

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/06/2016

Krystal Leger-Walker and Jessica Bygate are heading home after the Tall Ferns squad was trimmed ahead of the Olympic qualifying tournament in France.

Coach Kennedy Kereama says it was difficult to shed two players from a squad he believes has made good progress over the last three weeks on a buildup tour of Asia and Europe.

Kereama reminded Waikato teenager Leger-Walker and Melbourne-based Bygate that the Olympic door isn't closed on them if New Zealand qualify for Rio as he will conduct further selection trials.

The Tall Ferns have moved to Asturias in Spain for the final stage of the buildup ahead of the qualifying tournament starting in Nantes on Monday.

Five of the 12 teams will qualify for Rio, with New Zealand having to firstly negotiate a group comprising France and Cuba.

They play games against European champions Spain on Wednesday and Thursday, which Kereama says will provide the stiff sort of preparation they need.

Tall Ferns squad: Stella Beck, Micaela Cocks, Penina Davidson, Antonia Edmondson, Deena Franklin, Jillian Harmon, Jordan Hunter, Chevannah Paalvast, Kalani Purcell, Erin Rooney, Josephine Stockill, Lisa Wallbutton.

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