From St Kevin’s to the world cup

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Former St Kevin’s College pupil Jane Watson has a chance at glory as part of the Silver Ferns’ 2019 Netball World Cup campaign in Liverpool next month.

“It’s going to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’m happy to have the chance to be a part of it,” Watson told the Oamaru Mail

The Canterbury Tactix captain made her debut for the Silver Ferns in 2016 against England and received news of her 2019 World Cup selection the day before an official announcement on May 23.

“You are never really confident when it comes to things like that – I was quite nervous, but really stoked.”

Watson (29 test caps) said she was looking forward to the World Cup and was optimistic about what the Silver Ferns would bring.

“The coaching staff are awesome to work with. They are very straight up and you know where you stand.”

The 1.81m defender will have a relatively new partner in the defensive circle, having had only limited court time with the other defenders in the New Zealand squad – Casey Kopua, Katrina Rore and Phoenix Karaka.

“I have played with them in bits and pieces, but not really a lot.”

Watson made a return to the Tactix this year, captaining the Canterbury side after three years with the Southern Steel.

In 2017, she was named ANZ Premiership player of the year.

The 28-year-old said the Silver Ferns was a step up in intensity from the ANZ Premiership.

“It’s full on. They definitely put us through our paces.”

Watson was a boarder at St Kevin’s College from 2005 to 2007, which was when she started to take her netball seriously. She said she finally found her place in the game in North Otago.

“In my last year things got really busy. I had to choose netball as my only sport and I was travelling to Dunedin once a week to play.

“The coaches and the people around were awesome. Every coach adds something to help you along your way.”

Last week, Watson cleaned up at the Tactix’s 2019 awards night, winning the club’s three top honours of the season – player of the year, players’ player of the year and members’ player of the year.

The Silver Ferns has a camp on the Sunshine Coast for a week starting June 16 and a tournament in Auckland the following week, before flying to England on July 3.

Silver Ferns – 2019 Netball World Cup

Karin Burger (Pulse), Gina Crampton (Steel), Ameliaranne Ekenasio (Pulse), Maria Folau (Thunderbirds), Phoenix Karaka (Mystics), Casey Kopua (Magic), Laura Langman (captain, Lightning), Bailey Mes (Mystics), Katrina Rore (Pulse), Shannon Saunders (Steel), Te Paea Selby-Rickit (Steel), Jane Watson (Tactix).