Samoa rules out Comm Games netball hopes

Samoa will miss next year's Commonwealth Games netball tournament, with no money in the budget for any test matches before the qualifying cut-off date in June.

Samoa haven't played an international since the 2015 World Cup, where they finished in 10th place.

RNZ reports new head coach Frances Solia said their only fixtures this year will be at the Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu, in December, however those won't be classed as full test matches, or have rankings points attached.

"It will be a good test for all of us," she said.

"It's not a qualifying, so we don't get any points, but what it does do is it allows us to kind of see who can play at an international level and who's able to take the pressure.

"Because it's so hot over there mentally they've got to be tough to play day-in day-out."

Frances Solia represented Samoa at two Commonwealth Games.

The top 12 ranked nations at the end of June will qualify for Gold Coast 2018 but with Samoa currently 14th they will miss out.

"We'd have to play two/three internationals to qualify for Comm Games and we'd have to play those games before the end of June," she said.

"Because we sit just outside that 12 and it's the 12 that go through to Comms and we're 14th [in the world rankings].

"So we'd have to take on Barbados, Northern Ireland and Scotland and win them and then we qualify for Comms...we'd love to but it's not in the budget. Samoa can't afford all that."

Fiji is poised to make its Commonwealth netball return, however.

The Pearls last featured at the 2006 Games in Melbourne but missed the last two events because of Fiji's suspension from the Commonwealth but, with a world ranking of seventh, sit comfortably inside the qualifying requirements for Gold Coast.