It’s always a nervous but exciting moment whenever someone makes their international netball debut.
Australian umpire Tara Warner will have that experience next week when she travels to New Zealand to join with fellow Australian’s Marc Henning and Paula Ferguson, to officiate the Silver Ferns’ two Test series against England, which starts in Rotorua on 28 October and finishes at Palmerston North on October 31.
Warner said it came as a surprise when she was invited by the International Netball Federation (INF) to umpire the Silver Ferns-England matches, but she was thrilled to be approached just two months after being awarded with her International Umpire Award (IUA).
“It’s very exciting for me,” Warner said before she prepared to leave for New Zealand. “It’s certainly a wonderful opportunity and it’s one that I’ll take with both hands, go over and give it my best.
“It’s definitely going to be a good series. If you look at the rest of the world, there’s a lot of improvement happening across the board but I’ll just go out and do what I know I’m good at doing.”
“It’s nice to be travelling with people you know, but at the end of the day you do your own thing. We all have our own preparation,” Warner said.
“But it certainly makes it easier being with umpires that have been there (Test level) before.”
Warner began her umpiring career at the Fairfield City Netball Association in Sydney and has progressed through the ranks at all levels over the last decade.
She’s been part of the Australian ANZ Championship panel but knows international netball is another step up all together.
“I’ve had the privilege of umpiring a lot of these girls before but I know international netball is another step up in intensity and skill level altogether,” Warner said.
“I’m going to go out there and do my best over the 60 minutes.”
Pictures: Courtesy of SMP Images