Netball Australia announced the today that the Australian Diamonds will take on England and New Zealand in six Tests as part of the Holden Netball Test Series in October.
The excitement starts with a three Test series against England with matches scheduled for Newcastle, Canberra and Sydney.
Regarded as netball’s up and comers, England proved at the Commonwealth Games that they have the goods to match it with the sport’s powerhouses, Australia and New Zealand. England were last in Australia in 2008 for two Tests in Newcastle and Adelaide.
The Diamonds will then take on arch-rivals the Silver Ferns for a further three Tests, giving fans in Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne the chance to witness one of the epic battles that these two teams seem to stage every time they meet.
The two teams will be competing for the magnificent new Constellation Cup, symbol of the great netballing rivalry between Australia and New Zealand. The cup will be awarded at the conclusion of the Melbourne Test to the team who has won the most of the five Tests played this year (two in New Zealand, three in Australia). World Championships fixtures do not count towards the Constellation Cup.
The Adelaide Test will represent the 80th Test contested by the Diamonds and the Silver Ferns.
Netball Australia CEO Kate Palmer said today that the increasing popularity and profile of the sport, along with the memory of an epic double-time gold medal match in Delhi meant that the games were likely to attract big crowds.
“We are delighted to be hosting six international Tests this year, following what is sure to be a closely contested World Netball Championships in Singapore in July.
“Having the world’s top three netball nations competing here means that Australian fans are in for an absolute feast of international netball during this year’s Holden Netball Test Series.”
Further details on match times and ticketing arrangements will be announced at a later date.
photos Janos Schmidt