Injured Silver Ferns shooter Tiana Metuarau was the star of the show over England and now takes on a new challenge against Aotearoa Men.
But head coach Dame Noeline Taurua is setting the benchmark high for the rest of her experienced players. That will allow an easier transition for newcomers like Metuarau who have a point of difference and an instinctive aptitude for the game.
"The only thing from our point of view is making sure she's ready to be able to take the court," Taurua says. "We don't push her too fast, too soon because it's unnecessary."
She admits that was missing in the Taini Jamison Trophy where the England Roses sealed the series two games to one.
The 18-strong squad went into camp yesterday in Wellington. Metuarau had her first run after suffering from an adductor strain injury from the second test match last month, ahead of facing the men's in the Cadbury Netball Series.
"The injury I copped to my leg is recovering well. So I may be fit to play this week," she says.
Metuarua rise to fame in the Ferns dress followed her debut performance winning Player of the Match. With that, she hopes to gain more minutes this week against the physicality of the men's team as part of their build-up to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
"I really want to learn new skills that I can bank on my journey."