NZ welcomes Diamonds series

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
The Silver Ferns are set to host Australia in March.

The two sides will contest the Constellation Cup in a four-test series.

Christchurch will host games on March 2 and 3, before the series moves to Tauranga for games on March 6 and 7.

The series will be the first time the teams have met since October 2019.

On that occasion, Australia held on to the cup, to avenge its World Cup loss earlier to the Silver Ferns that year.

It will be Australia’s first series in New Zealand under new coach Stacey Marinkovich.

The side will undergo a two-week quarantine period to comply, arriving in Christchurch on February 15.

Netball NZ chief executive Jennie Wyllie said she was delighted to announce the series after a long wait.

“We’re really excited to confirm this series after the disappointments of postponing the Constellation Cup in 2020 due to Covid-19,” Wyllie said.

“We’d also like to acknowledge the Australian Diamonds for agreeing to come to New Zealand, where they will go into the mandatory two-week quarantine leading into the series.

“To be able to host international netball in the current climate is something we do not take lightly, so we’re excited to see our world champion Silver Ferns have the opportunity to take on one of their toughest opponents.”

Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua said she was looking forward to the challenge of playing the Diamonds.

“Australia is deservedly ranked number one in our sport and as a Silver Fern, there is nothing better than gauging yourself against the world’s best,” she said.

‘‘We love the transtasman rivalry and Constellation Cup. It truly is a blessing that we can rekindle our connections, and play the sport both countries love in these Covid times.’’

The 2021 Constellation Cup is also scheduled to be played again later this year, in an international calendar for the Silver Ferns which will include a Taini Jamison Trophy series.


 

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