Diamonds rock up, ready to dazzle
Silver Ferns will try to rock the DiamondsNATHAN BURDON
The Australian netball team was gifted a picturesque rainbow when it touched down at Invercargill Airport last night, but it will have to wait until Sunday to find out whether there's a pot of at the end of it.
The world champions will take on the Silver Ferns at the SIT Zerofees Velodrome on Sunday night in the first test of the five-match Constellation Cup series.
Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander was pleased to be in Invercargill and on the cusp of a tough series.
"I love Invercargill. I love the crowd, they are absolutely passionate about their netball, so we are just delighted to be here and to put on a great performance for them."
The Australians are injury-free heading into the series, which will take in Invercargill, Auckland, Melbourne and Canberra.
The next five games would be an important marker for Australia and Waimarama Taumaunu's New Zealand side ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year, Alexander said.
"It's a big series for both countries and very important leading into the Commonwealth Games. I think we are both a bit toey about where we are at and I know Wai has obviously lost a couple of players and had to cover that. It's going to be really interesting and exciting for the fans, so that's great."
The anticipated return from injury of Cath Cox and Julie Corletto later in the year aside, Alexander said she would not be holding anything back for Glasgow.
"I'm one for you just put your best team out at each opportunity. I think at national level you don't play with the gods too much, because you have to take your opportunities when you get them. We are really fine-tuning combinations and lineups for next year."
Australia will train in Gore today and play a Southland team as part of their buildup tomorrow.
Yesterday there were only about 100 tickets left for Sunday's test.
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