CANBERRA TO HOST FIRST ANZ CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

The ANZ Championship will be contested in Canberra for the first time when the NSW Swifts host the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel at the AIS Arena on ANZAC Day.

swifts

The ANZ Championship unveiled the 2014 draw on Thursday which remains a traditional 14-week regular season – kicking off three weeks earlier on Saturday March 1.

Canberra, which will host its first ever trans-Tasman international in October, will fittingly play host to the first specifically scheduled ANZAC Day game.

“The ANZ Championship is pleased to be taking the world’s best netball league to Canberra for the first time and how fitting for the national capital to host the ANZAC Day fixture,” ANZ Championship General Manager Andy Crook said.

“Netball is a uniquely female sport so a trans-Tasman fixture on ANZAC Day helps to recognise the significant role of women in the Australian and New Zealand defence forces.”

The Friday fixture will be followed by the Haier Central Pulse hosting the Melbourne Vixens on Saturday at TSB Arena in Wellington.

The seventh season of the ANZ Championship has been brought forward to ensure the regular season can be completed before the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games with the Grand Final to be contested on 22/23 June.

The 2014 season will kick off with the EasiYo Tactix hosting the Kia Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic at CBS Canterbury Arena in Christchurch before the defending champions, Adelaide Thunderbirds, begin their title defence against the Pulse in Porirua.

Fans won’t need to wait long for the much anticipated Grand Final rematch between the Thunderbirds and Mission Queensland Firebirds when the two sides meet in Round 2 on Monday 10 March at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The ANZ Championship makes a return to Napier when the Pulse host the Tactix at Pettigrew Green Arena in Round 4 on Sunday 23 March. Napier has previously hosted three ANZ Championship matches with the last coming in Round 2 2012.

Auckland’s Vector Arena will host its first LG Northern Mystics home game when they take on the West Coast Fever in Round 13 on Monday 26 May.