THE 2023 Constellation Cup kicks off tonight in Melbourne, as Australia and New Zealand face off for the first time since the Quad Series in January.
The 2023 Series will be the 13th time the two countries have battled for the Cup. Australia has won the series seven times and the Kiwis have won it twice (the 2015 and 2019 series were both drawn series), but crucially for the Silver Ferns they won the 2021 series, so in the event of a drawn series they keep the trophy.
The Australian squad is largely the same one that won gold at the recent World Cup, with a few additions who just missed out on selection or were a travelling reserve.
Sophie Dwyer and Kate Moloney re-enter the squad, hoping to fill the voids left by recent retirees Ash Brazill and Steph Fretwell as the Diamonds go into their first international campaign without the two fan favourites.
Notable omissions were Ruby Bakewell-Doran, Matilda Garrett, Amy Parmenter, who was expected to fill Brazill’s position out on court, as well as Maddy Proud and Donnell Wallam. Proud was unavailable for selection due to having knee surgery in the off-season.
Meanwhile for the Silver Ferns, it is a slightly expanded squad from the one that beat the Jamaicans in the Taini Jamison Trophy, but this is because some of the squad members are only playing half the series.
New Zealand look to take back the cup they held in 2021 and slowly build up the trophy cabinet ready for the next international cycle, whereas the Australians are looking to keeps theirs full.
2023 Constellation Cup schedule (All start times are AEDT)
Thursday 12th October – 7:30pm – Melbourne
Sunday 15th October – 7:30pm – Brisbane
Thursday 19th October – 4:30pm – Invercargill
Monday 23rd October – 1:00pm – Auckland
Sunday Aryang, Kiera Austin, Courtney Bruce, Sophie Dwyer, Sophie Garbin, Paige Hadley, Sarah Klau, Cara Koenen, Kate Moloney, Jamie-Lee Price, Liz Watson (captain), Jo Weston
Karin Burger, Kate Burley, Ameliaranne Ekenasio (captain), Maddy Gordon, Kate Heffernan, Kelly Jury, Phoenix Karaka, Tiana Metuarau, Grace Nweke (subject to medical clearance), Mila Reuelu-Buchanan, Whitney Sounses, Amelia Walmsley, Jane Watson, Maia Wilson