Renae Hallinan may have played 57 Tests for Australia, but she was still nervous waiting for the phone call to come from Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander about her selection for the Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015.
It’s been just over a month since the Diamonds’ team for the Netball World Cup was picked with the team preparing to head into their final training camp in Newcastle.
Hallinan had missed out on making the Australian team four years earlier at Singapore and, despite being part of the Commonwealth Games Gold Medal winning side in 2014, the star midcourter was desperate to play in a world championship campaign.
So when Alexander told Hallinan the good news that she was in the 12, the Adelaide Thunderbirds midcourter was over the moon.
“I honestly don’t remember any of the phone call until she told me that I was in the team,” Hallinan said.
“I actually surprised myself because my initial reaction was tears; they were certainly happy tears and tears of relief and excitement and I’m over the moon to be going to my first world championships.
“I told (fiancé) Joe (Ingles) who was sitting on the couch with me and he was there to support me and I called my parents straight away and they were thrilled as well.
“You don’t take any game that you play for granted and to have missed out on the team four years ago, it really did make the phone call from Lisa – and this entire campaign – that little bit more special for me.
“To be able to play my first world championships in front of a home crowd in Sydney is just going to be incredible.”
Hallinan, who turned 29 last weekend, is the third most experienced player in the Diamonds line-up behind vice-captain Kimberlee Green (67 Tests) and Natalie Medhurst (66 Tests).
“It just means I’m bringing experience to a world cup in terms of Test matches played,” Hallinan said.
“But I’ve certainly taken on a lot of advice and I’m loving hearing the stories what happens in a world championship environment and I can’t wait to be part of that.”
Hallinan is also part of the Diamonds’ leadership group along with captain Laura Geitz, Green and Julie Corletto and said it’s been a great experience.
“It’s an easy job because we’ve got 12 athletes that are committed to the cause and the program and that’s certainly winning the world championship gold,” she said.
“It’s really been a four-year campaign since Lisa took the reins (as coach) and we’ve looked forward to this. We can’t wait; we’re jumping out of our skins to get out on court in Sydney and get our campaign started.”
With tens of thousands of fans set to flock to Sydney over the 10 days watching the world’s best 16 countries in action, Hallinan said the Diamonds would thrive on the support of the green and gold army.
“We get to have our army of supporters, our home crowd and the stadiums full of green and gold there to support us,” Hallinan said.
“So it’s a huge advantage and certainly something very special that we hold close to our heart because we can have our own family and friends in the crowd as well.”
Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015 will be held at Sydney Olympic Park from August 7–16. The Diamonds begin their World Cup campaign against Trinidad and Tobago on Friday, 7 August at Allphones Arena at 9.05pm (AEST).
Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015 will be broadcast in Australia on FOX SPORTS, Network TEN and via the Netball Live app, available to download from the App Store and Google Play. Click here to find out how to get tickets.