The Australian Netball Team will commence their Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games campaign on Friday 29 July with the prospect of their seventh medal at the forefront of their mind.
Under the directive of head coach Stacey Marinkovich, the Australian Diamonds will look to reclaim supremacy in the Commonwealth with their fourth gold medal after the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games saw the team go down to England by a minuscule goal in the gold medal match.
Captain Liz Watson, 28, and vice-captain Steph Wood, 30, will lead a dynamic roster with experienced Commonwealth Games campaigners Jo Weston and Courtney Bruce, and a variety of standouts expected to make their mark including 21-year-old rising star Sunday Aryang.
Aryang is one of eight team members who will experience the Games for the first time, alongside Paige Hadley, Kate Moloney, Ash Brazill, Gretel Bueta, Sarah Klau, Cara Koenen and Kiera Austin.
Along with the hope for gold, Courtney Bruce and Jo Weston will seek out their 50th international test caps, with Bruce having 44 caps to her name and Weston having 45.
The team will face the world’s best netballers in five matches across seven days during the preliminary rounds, with a fiery determination to reign in subsequent semi-finals and medal matches as their driving force.
Ranked number one in the world, the Diamonds will have to overcome Barbados, Scotland, South Africa, Wales and world number four Jamaica for finals contention. If successful, Trans-Tasman foes, the New Zealand Silver Ferns, and the home-advantaged England Roses will likely await them.
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In previous Games, the biggest rivalry in netball has been between Australia and New Zealand, having contested every Commonwealth Games gold since netball’s introduction in Kuala Lumpur in 1998. That was until England made history in 2018. Now, it’s anyone’s shot.
Australians can hold one certainty when it comes to Diamonds – they sure do rock gold!