Kiwis plan to spring netball surprise

They may be familiar foes but New Zealand hope to have the element of surprise when they meet Australia in the Netball Quad Series, which begins in Brisbane this weekend.

Skipper Katrina Grant believes New Zealand have rediscovered the Silver Ferns' brand of netball after launching their own domestic competition this year.

She can't wait to unleash it on an unsuspecting Diamonds in the Quad Series, which starts on Saturday and also features England and South Africa.

The old rivals usually have no secrets before a major tournament after rubbing shoulders for eight years in the trans-Tasman ANZ Championship which ended in 2016.

However, Grant believed the Silver Ferns would be an unknown quantity to the Diamonds after competing in their own respective domestic leagues this year.

"Yeah I hope so. That's the plan anyway," she said.

"We have been doing our own thing in NZ and I think it makes international competition, especially against the Aussies, a bit more exciting as people haven't seen us play here."

The week-long Quad Series is expected to be decided when Australia finally meet New Zealand in Invercargill on September 3.

New Zealand play South Africa and the Diamonds host England in Saturday's opening double-header in Brisbane.

World No.1 Australia are again the team to beat despite fielding the most inexperienced Quad Series squad.

Yet the Silver Ferns are backing themselves to deliver a body blow ahead of next year's Gold Coast Commonwealth Games after regaining their Silver Ferns mojo in New Zealand's inaugural domestic league season.

"We will try and knock off the Aussies," Grant said.

"It is a tough task but we have been together for a while now and we are solidifying what we are doing and how we are doing it.

"And I think having our own competition has been good for New Zealand netball, our own style of play is starting to come back.

"We are not trying to emulate anybody else."

Grant and vice-captain Maria Tutaia preside over a Kiwi squad without star Kayla Cullen (knee), midcourter Grace Rasmussen, former Silver Ferns deputy Laura Langman (ineligible) and Anna Harrison (retired).

The Silver Ferns are looking to claim their 30th win in 31 Tests against South Africa on Saturday.

New Zealand have won their last six clashes with South Africa by an average of 31 goals.

"They have been improving over the last 18 months and with (ex-Australian mentor) Norma Plummer as coach you never know what to expect - they are an unknown quantity," Grant said.

The Quad Series moves to Canberra on Wednesday before the third and final round in Invercargill next weekend.