Caitlin Thwaites has waited a long time to make her test debut and, outside of Melbourne, Wellington would have to be the most appropriate venue.
The 25-year-old goal shoot has been in and out of Australian squads and training groups for years, with her only court time in Diamonds colours coming in an unofficial match against the World 7 in 2009.
Having won a trans-Tasman netball league title with the Melbourne Vixens, Thwaites soon found herself out of favour with her hometown franchise, finding refuge at the Central Pulse.
She and the Pulse took a real punt on each other but, after two outstanding seasons in Wellington, Thwaites has proved a few doubters wrong and was thoroughly deserving of selection in Australia's squad for the Quad Series.
Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander has flirted with the idea of handing Thwaites her first test cap during this series, naming her in the 12 to meet England but then leaving her on the bench.
Australia meet South Africa at TSB Bank Arena in the first match of tonight's international double-header, with Thwaites desperate to get on court in the city she calls home for seven months a year.
"My mum said to me on the phone the other day: ‘Caitlin, you'd be the first Australian to actually play in front of a home crowd in New Zealand' so that would be really amazing," Thwaites said.
There's certainly a few sets of fingers being crossed in Wellington that tonight might be the night for Thwaites. But, if it's not, she'll still be happy, having seen her Diamonds team-mates thrash the Silver Ferns 68-48 on Sunday.
"It was bloody awesome to be involved with a team that played like that," she said.
"We really knuckled down to our game plan, we worked the ball through court really fast and just beat them with a bit of speed. It was so good."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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