International netball will be contested on the New South Wales south coast for the first time when Wollongong hosts the Australian Diamonds and Malawi Queens at the WIN Entertainment Centre on Wednesday 16 October.
Wollongong will become the tenth Australian international Test city and the occasion will be marked by the Malawi Queen’s first ever Test match against the Diamonds on Australia soil – the first of a two-Test series against the world’s fifth ranked nation.
“Netball Australia is thrilled to be bringing international netball to the south coast for the first time in the Australian Diamonds’ 75 year history,” Netball Australia CEO Kate Palmer said.
“Malawi’s unique style and flair make them one of international netball’s most exciting teams for spectators. They are pushing the top four and will pose a challenge for our Australian Diamonds as they prepare for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.”
The NSW Government, through its Tourism and Major Events Agency Destination NSW, secured the first of a two-test series against Malawi, for Wollongong, which Minister for Sport, Graham Annesley said is a fantastic addition to NSW major sporting Events Calendar.
“NSW is the natural home of sports in Australia and this match in Wollongong is an example of the NSW Government’s commitment to bringing the biggest and best sporting names to NSW,” he said.
“This will be a fantastic match for Netball fans with the Australian Diamonds ranked second in the world and the Malawi Queen’s, who are currently ranked fifth in the world.”
The Australian Diamonds have won the three previous international Tests against Malawi, including a narrow 58-44 victory in the last meeting en route to winning the 2011 World Netball Championship in Singapore.
The two-Test series against Malawi, the second Test to be played on the Gold Coast on Saturday 19 October, will be the Australia Diamonds final international hit out before contesting the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
The Australian Diamonds will contest seven Test matches in 2013, starting with a five-Test Constellation Cup series against New Zealand before concluding with the two-Test series against Malawi.
Tickets will go on sale on Friday 19 July following the 2013 ANZ Championship Grand Final.
Netball fans can get exclusive access to pre-released international Test tickets by signing up to Diamonds Reserve for free at www.old.netball.asn.au