Silver Ferns lose key midcourter to injury

The Silver Ferns have suffered a major blow ahead of their opening Constellation Cup Test against Australia after wing attack Gina Crampton was ruled out with knee sprain.

The experienced Crampton was in the starting team who pipped the Diamonds 52-51 in the World Cup final in July.

She had formed a slick combination with captain/centre Laura Langman and the shooters, leaving coach Noeline Taurua with a selection headache ahead of Sunday's first Test of four in Christchurch.

Specialist wing attack Whitney Souness has joined the squad and could be rushed straight into a starting role.

Or Taurua may consider promoting more versatile squad member Shannon Saunders to a starting bib - either at centre or wing attack, with Langman potentially shifted into the more attacking role.

Horncastle Arena is sold out for the first trans-Tasman clash since the thrilling World Cup decider in Liverpool.