Australian vice captain Catherine Cox passed a significant personal milestone during the second test, becoming only. the fourth Australian player to achieve 100 international caps. Cox, who made her debut for the Diamonds in 1997 in Perth against South Africa, netted 15/18 during the second test, but was outshone by her New Zealand counterparts, Irene Van Dyk (24/26) and Maria Tutaia (26/29) who were once again in outstanding shooting form. The third test between the world's top two will be played in Christchurch on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Jamaican squad has arrived in England ahead of this evening (Friday's) first test against the home team, with the world number three ranking at stake. Jamaica moved ahead of the home side thanks to good results at the AFNA competition during the summer, but England will be looking to restore their position ahead of the Sunshine Girls, despite the absence of several key players including experienced midcourter Jade Clarke and defenders Sonia Mkoloma and Geva Mentor.
South Africa will be without three key players for the upcoming quad series against Australia, New Zealand and England. Midcourter Erin Burger, the player of the tournament at the 2011 World Netball Championships, has failed to recover from an injury which looks set to keep her out of action until 2013, while Simnikiwe Mdaka, Precious Mthembu and Nontle Gwavu are also unavailable for selection. The full South African line up for the competition is: Chrisna Bootha, Mryka Holtzhausen, Lindie Lombard, Zanele Mdodana (vice captain), Karla Mostert, Bongiwe Msomi, Melissa Myburgh, Amanda Mynhardt (capt), Adele Niemand, Thuli Qegu, Vanes-Mari du Toit, Nadia Uys.
Vanuatu Netball Association (VNA) has announced the appointment of a new operations manager. Thierry Degobert has taken responsibility for all areas of VNA operating matters, including finances, quarterly reports, work plans, equipment and administration, which will free up valuable staff resource to enable development activities to continue across the region. Most recently, the VNA has provided coaching and administrative support for interschool competitions in Penama and Malampa, with several schools taking part in the tournaments for the first time.
In domestic competitions, Pamela Cookey has announced her move back to TeamBath for the 2013 UK Netball Superleague season. The 28-year-old University of Bath business administration graduate, who played for Surrey Storm in 2012, will captain England in their forthcoming series against Jamaica and next month’s Quad Series with Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and has 70 senior international caps to her name.
Former Australian defender and national U21 coach Simone McKinnis has been named as the new coach of the Melbourne Vixens for the 2013 ANZ Championships. West Coast Fever Johanna Curren is one of McKinnis' first signings, after agreeing a one year move to Melbourne, while former Vixens shooter Kate Beveridge will be travelling in the opposite direction, after signing for the Fever this week. Queensland Firebirds' inspirational captain Lauren Nourse has announced her retirement this week, after representing Queensland for nine years, as well as being part of the Australian Diamonds squad.Finally, the Manx Netball Association is inviting entries from club teams for its seventh annual club challenge, intended for teams who do not usually have the opportunity to travel away on tour. Taking place from 26-28 April 2013, the competition is part of the Isle of Man Sports Club Challenge Series: more information and entry forms can be found at the event's website at www.iomsportschallenge.com.
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photos Janos Schmidt