THE 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England are just around the corner. To celebrate, we are previewing each of the competing netball nations and predicting how they might fare in the tournament.
Today, in the last but no means least preview, we take a look at Australia.
After falling so close to gold at both the last Commonwealth Games and World Cup, the Aussie Diamonds will be out for vengeance this time around. They lost the final of both the 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2019 World Cup to different opponents but both by the same margin – one goal.
It has not been easy to be an Aussie at international level the last few years. The pandemic and Australia’s closed borders have meant that test matches have been hard to come by at times.
However, one big characteristic of the Australian squad heading to these Games is teammate partnership from Suncorp Super Netball teams, which can potentially offset the lack of international action the Diamonds have had in recent years. So many of the Diamonds’ squad members come into the team alongside at least one of their SSN teammates, including:
- Sunday Aryang and Courtney Bruce
- Jo Weston, Liz Watson, Kate Moloney and Kiera Austin
- Sarah Klau and Paige Hadley
- Steph Wood and Cara Koenen
There is also a lot of experience in this line-up, with plenty of players having been in the Diamonds set up for a number of years now. But interestingly enough, only four members of this Games’ squad – Bruce, Watson, Weston and Wood – were in the 2018 team.
In terms of their schedule at these Games, getting out of the group stage should not be an issue for the Diamonds. Jamaica will be an interesting challenge for them, but they should account for everyone else so making it out of the group stage should not be an issue.
The question will be the knockout stage, which are a totally different kettle of fish but with a line-up this strong it is safe to say these Diamonds should be sparkling in contention for the medals again.
Sunday Aryang, Courtney Bruce, Sarah Klau, Jo Weston, Liz Watson, Ash Brazill, Paige Hadley, Kate Moloney, Steph Wood, Kiera Austin, Gretel Bueta, Cara Koenen
Friday 29 July – Barbados
Saturday 30 July – Scotland
Monday 1 August – South Africa
Tuesday 2 August – Wales
Thursday 4 August – Jamaica