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Australian 21/U team announced for tour of New Zealand
Selectors have named the 12 athletes in the Australian 21/U team that will head to New Zealand for a week-long tour later this month.
The team was announced at the conclusion of an extensive three-day training camp at Netball Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Canberra and contains 10 athletes listed with ANZ Championship franchises.
The highlight of the tour will be the opportunity for the 21/U squad to take on Commonwealth Games gold medalist Australia along with New Zealand in trial matches.
For six athletes – Courtney Bruce, Cody Lange, Madeline Proud, Kaylia Stanton, Gretel Tippett and Jo Weston – named in the team, this will be their second overseas tour as part of the Australian 21/U program having been part of
Australia’s World Youth Championships squad last year.
Australian 21/U coach Tania Obst said the quality of talent in action at the selection camp made choosing the final team difficult for the selection panel, which also includes Australian Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander and Nicole Richardson.
“We needed to have a match play session this morning to confirm the last couple of spots,” Obst said.
“The team is very excited to have the opportunity to play against the world’s No.1 and No.2 ranked sides and push their cases forward as future Diamonds.”
Obst said South Australian pair Cody Lange and Madeline Proud’s positions in the touring party are subject to the duo being given the all clear fitness-wise next week. If either or both fail to come up, selectors have two players on standby to take their place.
The team will fly out to New Zealand next Friday 26 September and base themselves in Invercargill for the week.
They will play against the Diamonds on Tuesday 30 September and take on the Silver Ferns on Wednesday 1 October with the possibility of a third match being scheduled.
They will also attend the first Test of the Constellation Cup series between the two countries on Thursday 2 October.
The Australian 21/U touring party is: Courtney Bruce (WA/West Coast Fever), Mahalia Cassidy (QLD) Beryl Friday (QLD/Queensland Firebirds), Sarah Klau (SA), Cody Lange* (SA/Adelaide Thunderbirds), Kate Moloney (VIC/Melbourne Vixens), Madeleine Proud* (SA/Adelaide Thunderbirds), Kaylia Stanton (WA/West Coast Fever), Gretel Tippett (QLD/Queensland Firebirds), Chloe Watson (VIC/Melbourne Vixens), Liz Watson (VIC/Melbourne Vixens), Jo Weston (VIC/Melbourne Vixens).
(* - subject to fitness)
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS