Australia to host rivals in 20/U International series

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Australia’s preparations for the 2017 World Youth Netball Cup will step up a notch when the country’s best 20/U athletes compete against two countries in an International Tournament in August.

An Australian 20/U squad will be named shortly featuring 24 athletes, which will be divided into two teams and compete against counterparts from New Zealand and England in a round robin series in Canberra between 11-14 August.

The tournament will be played at Netball Australia’s Centre of Excellence, located at the Australian Institute of Sport.

Also taking part in the tournament will be an Aotearora Maori team and a combined SIS/SAS squad that will be made up of a mix of athletes from around Australia.

The tournament has been made possible thanks to the support of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association through its NextGEN AUSComGames program.

The two Australian 20/U teams will be coached by national 21/U coach Tania Obst and her assistant Michelle Wilkins, who will lead Australia to next year’s World Youth Netball Cup in Botswana.

Netball Australia’s High Performance Pathway General Manager Stacey West said the athletes contesting the series are eligible for next year’s World Youth Netball Cup team.

“This series will be a great opportunity for these athletes to test themselves in a competitive environment against opponents they will most likely face in Africa next year,” West said.

“Our combined SIS/SAS teams will be also contain athletes who are eligible for next year’s World Youth Cup squad.

“It’s exciting to have so many international teams and emerging athletes in one location and will lead to high-quality netball being played.”

West said the 20/U squad – and 19/U national squad – would be announced on May 25.