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Romelda sidelined for first NZ test

Wednesday 26 August 2009 | Published in Regional

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Thursday 20: Jamaican under 21 goal shooter Romelda Aiken, this year’s player of the trans-Tasman championship, will miss the first test between the Silver Ferns and the World Team in Wellington on Monday.

Netball New Zealand officials have confirmed that the Jamaican international and World Team shooter will be sidelined to recover from a heavy workload at the World Youth Cup in Rarotonga.

Aiken will fly into Wellington on Saturday after playing for the Jamaica under 21 team. Her first appearance in the three-test series will be in Rotorua next Wednesday in the second test.

New Zealand coach Ruth Aitken believes the World Team will prove a formidable force in the first test.

Aitken admitted that the 1.96m Jamaican would prove a handful in Rotorua.

The World Team assembled in New Zealand yesterday from around Australia and England, and join Wellington’s Samoan international Frances Solia.

England defenders Sonia Mkoloma and Geva Mentor and Melbourne Vixens centre Natasha Chokljat are among the team’s most capped players.

Aitken said the unusual preparations were the most difficult she had encountered as New Zealand coach.

She will name her side on Friday morning after trials tomorrow night at Te Rauparaha Arena.

“It’s quite a challenge really to put out the polished performance that we would like to think the Silver Ferns would put out after such a short build up.”

Pulse players, Paula Griffin and Camilla Lees still have a chance to make the team. They are being monitored by New Zealand selector Leigh Gibbs at the World Youth Cup. The World Team will play a closed warm-up game against Wellington’s NPC team at Te Rauparaha on Sunday. - Stuff.co.nz