NSW juniors feature in Diamond line-up for October

After returning from Glasgow with a 2014 Commonwealth Games Gold Medal, two NSW juniors will once again don the Green & Gold for the International Netball Series, being played throughout October across the Tasman.

Midcourters Kimberlee Green and Kimberley Ravaillion will run out for the Australian Diamonds, alongside Green’s 2015 NSW Swifts teammates Julie Corletto, Sharni Layton and Caitlin Thwaites, for the international season against the New Zealand Silver Ferns and England Netball Team.

The six-Test series, which includes a match at Sydney’s Allphones Arena on Saturday 11 October where Commonwealth Silver Medallists New Zealand will be looking to get one back on their Australian rivals following their Grand Final loss  – tickets available via Ticketek.

The Diamonds will also return to our nation’s Capital for a Test against the England Netball Team at Canberra’s AIS Arena – tickets also available now via Ticketek.

The series will also feature 2015 Swift Jade Clarke, who will Captain her native England in two games against the Diamonds, before they head over the Tasman to contest two games against the Silver Ferns on Kiwi soil.

Head Coach Rob Wright said he was excited to see some of the Swifts in action again after their successful Commonwealth Games outing.

“The Australians played some terrific netball in Glasgow and went from strength to strength.  I’m excited about seeing them back in action against two quality oppositions, particularly our 2015 Swifts,” Wright said.

“The Games gave us a quick insight into the combinations we could see playing for the Red next season, and also a preview of what these athletes are capable of.

“However for me what’s even more tantalising is that both New Zealand and England will be coming here looking to get one back on the Aussies after their Commonwealth Games losses, and as a netball fan I’m really looking forward to the contests.

“On behalf of the Club, we are extremely proud of Kim, Julie, Sharni and Caitlin.  We wish them, Lisa Alexander and the entire Australian Diamonds outfit all the best for the upcoming international series,” Wright concluded.

Read the full Netball Australia announcement below…

Queensland’s Clare McMeniman headlines the Australian Diamonds 13-player squad for next month’s international Test Series against the New Zealand Silver Ferns and England Netball Team.

The 29-year-old international debutant, who came out of retirement earlier this season after spending two years out of the game, joins Rebecca Bulley as the only two inclusions to the Commonwealth Games winning team.

Following the international retirement of Bianca Chatfield after Glasgow, the pair will share the defensive responsibilities for the series with Bulley contesting the first three Constellation Cup Tests before McMeniman joins the team for the last Test against the Silver Ferns and two-Tests against England.

“The team’s performance at the Commonwealth Games was considered by selectors and we really can’t question what they delivered; all 12 players were sensational and operated extremely well, so we want to keep building on that because it is a relatively new group with Tegan (Caldwell) and Julie (Corletto),” Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander said.

“We were forced to make one change following Bianca’s retirement so the decision was made to give both players an opportunity to show what they can do in this series ahead of next year’s Netball World Cup in Sydney.”

McMeniman retired from netball for two years after winning an ANZ Championship premiership in 2011 before being lured back to the court this season to re-join the Queensland Firebirds – playing all 16 games for the trans-Tasman runners-up.

The Queenslander, who was first named in the Diamonds squad in 2008, was elevated from invitee to official Australian squad member during the Diamonds squad camp in May.

“I think it’s going to be a fantastic opportunity for Clare, the way that she’s come back to netball and the season she had with the Firebirds this year really helped them get through to the ANZ Championship Grand Final,” Alexander said.

After narrowly missing out on Australian Commonwealth Games selection for Glasgow 2014, Bulley returns to the Diamonds team after lining up in the green and gold during last year’s Test series against New Zealand and Malawi.

“We were mindful as selectors not to play around with the team too much, it was important for us to acknowledge that both New Zealand and England will be hungry to knock us over (following the Commonwealth Games) but we want to retain our number one ranking and go into the series in form,” Alexander said.

The Australian Diamonds get their Test series underway against the New Zealand Silver Ferns on Thursday 2 October at ILT Stadium Southland in Invercargill. Tickets for the 2014 International Netball Test Series matches in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra are still available via Ticketek. Purchase online at www.ticketek.com.au, phone 132 849 or any Ticketek outlet.

2014 Australian Diamonds – International Netball Series Team
Caitlin Bassett – WA
Rebecca Bulley – VIC*
Tegan Caldwell – VIC
Julie Corletto – VIC
Laura Geitz (c) – QLD
Kimberlee Green – NSW
Renae Hallinan – VIC
Sharni Layton – VIC
Clare McMeniman – QLD^
Natalie Medhurst – SA
Kim Ravaillion – NSW
Madi Robinson – VIC
Caitlin Thwaites – VIC

2014 International Netball Series – Fixture
Thurs 2 Oct NZ Silver Ferns v Aust Diamonds ILT Stadium Southland, Invercargill NZ
Wed 8 Oct Aust Diamonds v NZ Silver Ferns Hisense Arena, Melbourne VIC
Sat 11 Oct Aust Diamonds v NZ Silver Ferns Allphones Arena, Sydney NSW
Wed 15 Oct NZ Silver Ferns v Aust Diamonds The Trusts Arena, Auckland NZ
Sun 19 Oct Aust Diamonds v England Bendigo Stadium, Bendigo VIC
Wed 22 Oct Aust Diamonds v England AIS Arena, Canberra ACT
Tues 28 Oct NZ Silver Ferns v England Energy Events Centre, Rotorua NZ
Fri 31 Oct NZ Silver Ferns v England Arena Manawatu, Palmerston North NZ

Tickets for all Australian-based games available through Ticketek; for New Zealand-based Tests, please visit the Netball New Zealand website.

*Bulley will play the first three Tests in Invercargill, Melbourne and Sydney.  ^McMeniman will play the remaining three Tests in Auckland, Bendigo and Canberra.