The team was announced at the conclusion of an extensive three-day training camp at Netball Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Canberra and contains 10 ANZ Championship-listed athletes.
For six athletes – Courtney Bruce, Cody Lange, Madeline Proud, Kaylia Stanton, Gretel Tippett and Jo Weston – this will be their second overseas tour as part of the Australian 21/U program having been part of Australia’s World Youth Championships squad last year.
Australian 21/U coach Tania Obst said the quality of talent in action at the selection camp made choosing the final team difficult for the selection panel, which also includes Australian Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander and Nicole Richardson.
“We needed to have a match play session this morning to confirm the last couple of spots,” Obst said.
Obst said South Australian pair Cody Lange and Madeline Proud’s positions in the touring party are subject to the duo being given the all clear fitness-wise next week. If either or both fail to come up, selectors have two players on standby to take their places.
The team will fly out to New Zealand next Friday. They will play against the Diamonds on Tuesday 30 September and take on the Silver Ferns on Wednesday 1 October with the possibility of a third match being scheduled.
They will also attend the first Test of the Constellation Cup series between the two countries on Thursday 2 October.
The Australian 21/U touring party is: Courtney Bruce (WA/West Coast Fever), Mahalia Cassidy (QLD) Beryl Friday (QLD/Queensland Firebirds), Sarah Klau (SA), Cody Lange* (SA/Adelaide Thunderbirds), Kate Moloney (VIC/Melbourne Vixens), Madeleine Proud* (SA/Adelaide Thunderbirds), Kaylia Stanton (WA/West Coast Fever), Gretel Tippett (QLD/Queensland Firebirds), Chloe Watson (VIC/Melbourne Vixens), Liz Watson (VIC/Melbourne Vixens), Joanna Weston (VIC/Melbourne Vixens).
(* – subject to fitness)