The Australian Diamonds will contest seven Test matches in 2013, starting with a five-Test Constellation Cup series against New Zealand before concluding with a two-Test series against Malawi for the first time ever on home soil.
This year’s series against New Zealand will mark a Diamond Jubilee with 75 years since the first trans-Tasman Test match between Australia and New Zealand in August 1938.
International netball will be played for the first time at Invercargill’s newly restored Stadium Southland and Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena before returning to Queensland for the first time since 2010.
“It’s great that we can celebrate such a key milestone this year with five Tests against New Zealand as we look to reclaim the Constellation Cup before playing Malawi on our shores for the first time ever,” Australian Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander said.
The international season kicks off against the Silver Ferns with two Tests in Invercargill and Auckland before resuming at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre on Friday 4 October. Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena will turn from Grand Slam Centre Court to netball host when the second Test is contested just three days later on Monday 7 October. Rod Laver Arena hosted the Melbourne Vixens’ ANZ Championship semi-final victory over the Northern Mystics last year in netball’s debut at the venue.
The Australia Diamonds will be hoping to deliver Canberra a birthday present during the capital city’s Centenary celebrations when AIS Arena hosts the third and final Test against New Zealand on Australian soil on Sunday 13 October.
The two-Test series against Malawi will kick off on Wednesday 19 October before the year’s final Test at the Gold Coast Entertainment Centre on Saturday 22 October. Queensland will host the Diamonds’ last international hit out ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Tickets will go on sale in July following the 2013 ANZ Championship Grand Final.
2013 International Test dates:
|Sun 15 Sep||New Zealand Silver Ferns||v||Australian Diamonds||Stadium Southlands, Invercargill|
|Thu 19 Sep||New Zealand Silver Ferns||v||Australian Diamonds||Vector Arena, Auckland|
|Fri 4 Oct||Australian Diamonds||v||New Zealand Silver Ferns||Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide|
|Mon 7 Oct||Australian Diamonds||v||New Zealand Silver Ferns||Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne|
|Sun 13 Oct||Australian Diamonds||v||New Zealand Silver Ferns||AIS Arena, Canberra|
|Wed 16 Oct||Australian Diamonds||v||Malawi Queens||TBC|
|Sat 19 Oct||Australian Diamonds||v||Malawi Queens||Gold Coast Entertainment Centre, Gold Coast|
– but the sailors praise the new boats