Australia will fight for their ninth title in the Constellation Netball Cup against New Zealand
The two top netball teams in the world, New Zealand and Australia will go head-to-head in the annual Constellation Cup Test series next month.
The four-match series began in 2010 and since then the Australian Diamonds have won every year except 2012.
The two nations are no strangers to each other in competitions and recently met at the World Cup for a thrilling final in Liverpool where the Silver Ferns clinched the last goal in the final minute.
The Diamonds have announced their 13-athlete squad with three changes from the World Cup.
Two spots were left open as mid-courter Kelsey Browne is recovering from an ACL injury and April Brandley has recently announced her pregnancy. The final spot was made available after Steph Wood opted out of the series to rest.
Diamonds head coach Lisa Alexander said: “I believe this is the combination of players that we need to face an incredibly strong Silver Ferns team, with flexibility right across the court and a great mix of experienced talent and exciting up-and-comers.
“It’s a testament to Netball Australia’s pathway that we have such depth within our elite programme that it makes selection quite a task.
“The rivalry and respect between the Diamonds and Silver Ferns is immense and it’s always such a great battle – we’re so looking forward to playing four, no doubt, thrilling matches.”
Two new faces have been added to the Ferns squad. Defender Michaela Sokolich-Beatson will replace Casey Kopua, who announced her retirement after the tournament. Shooter Maia Wilson is also in the mix and brings a whole heap of experience from the New Zealand Premiership.
Head coach Noeline Taurua said: “The Constellation Cup is an opportunity for us to continue to grow and learn as a group and build on the gains we had made at the Netball World Cup. We cannot afford to rest on our laurels and think one cup is enough.
“The transtasman battle is arguably one of the fiercest netball rivalries ever. The Constellation Cup now has an added sting to it considering our last encounter at the Worlds.”
The series will take place from October 13- 17 with the first two games in New Zealand before the teams fly to Australia.