Constellation Cup key trophy in sporting rivalry

There’s some famous trophies up for grabs whenever Australia and New Zealand meet in the sporting arena.

From rugby union’s Bledisloe Cup to cricket’s Trans Tasman Trophy (Test) and Chappell-Haddlee Tropy (one-day internationals) and even the Henselite Trophy for indoor bowls – matches in any sport between the trans Tasman rivals are always fiercely contested.

Netball is no different.

While the history between the two countries stretches back 77 years, it was only in 2010 the Constellation Cup was established and awarded to the winner of the annual Test Series played between the Diamonds and Silver Ferns.

Matches at the Commonwealth Games and the Netball World Cup are excluded from deciding the Constellation Cup.

The concept of the Constellation Cup was developed by the then Governor-Generals of Australia, Quentin Bryce, and New Zealand, Sir Anand Satyanand, along with Netball Australia and Netball New Zealand.

The inaugural Constellation Cup Test was played in Adelaide on 29 August, 2010, and won by Australia 48-43.

The Diamonds were the first holders of the cup, winning the 2010 series 2-1. The Cup was presented for the first time to then Australian captain Sharelle McMahon, pictured above, after the Diamonds triumphed 46-40 in Auckland in the third and final Test.

Australia has won four of the five Constellation Cup Series contested with New Zealand’s sole victory coming in 2012. There’s been 20 Tests played with the Diamonds triumphing 14 times and the Silver Ferns winning six.

The average winning margin is just under seven goals with three one-goal results.

Australia has won the past eight Constellation Cup Tests played, stretching back to the second game of 2013 series in Auckland.

Auckland has hosted the most Constellation Cup Tests with five, followed by Melbourne (four) and Adelaide (three).

The Constellation Cup was designed and made by Michael Wilson Diamond Jewellers and the 3kg sterling silver cup is encrusted with 101 diamonds. The display case is crafted from black maire, a wood native to New Zealand.

This year’s series begins in Christchurch on Tuesday 20 October with games to follow in Auckland (22 October), Melbourne (25 October) before concluding in Perth (30 October).

Limited tickets are still available to purchase for the Test matches in Melbourne and Perth. To purchase, visit Ticketek’s website, phone 132 849 or any Ticketek outlet.

The 2015 Constellation Cup Series will be broadcast live on FOX SPORTS, Network Ten and the Netball Live app.