Caitlin Thwaites has only had a brief taste of what it’s like to play alongside Gretel Tippett in the goal circle.
The pair were teammates at the NSW Swifts in 2014 before Tippett returned home to Queensland to line-up with the Firebirds.
But Thwaites is excited about the potential she sees in Tippett and the Diamonds’ upcoming three-Test series against England is another opportunity to watch one of the rising stars of Australian netball up close and in action.
Thwaites and Tippett worked together as a combination at a training camp – under the watchful eye of coach Lisa Alexander – prior to the team’s departure for England last week.
“I love playing with `Grets’ because she’s got this almost flair about her where she will always look to throw the ball to the shooter,” Thwaites said.
“The speed she brings to the game, it’s a different dynamic. So it’s exciting to have two tall shooters being able to run a moving circle as well as a holding circle.”
Thwaites (17 Tests), Tippett (3 Tests), Caitlin Bassett (57 Tests) and Natalie Medhurst (77 Tests) form the Diamonds’ shooting combination to take on the Roses.
“There’s actually quite a bit of depth on both sides,” Thwaites said.
“England have got players that are really experienced and been playing together quite a lot lately, so their combinations are pretty well formed and that’s going to be a challenge for us to try and combat that.”
This tour marks the start of Australia’s next four-year circle leading up towards the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool – where this week’s first Test is being played.
Thwaites said the Diamonds view every Test as an opportunity to improve individually and as a team.
“We want to be the benchmark for all the countries in the world,” Thwaites declared.
“We’ve got high expectations on ourselves and to be able to set that standard and hope have everybody chasing after us is one of the things always working towards.
“We’re constantly looking to improve each and every performance.”
The Diamonds-England Test series will be broadcast live on Fox Sports and Network Ten. Check your local guides for details.
Fans can also subscribe to watch the games replayed on demand via the Netball Live App. Netball Live is available to download from the App Store and Google Play.