The Melbourne Vixens will be bolstered with the inclusion of squad members Mwai Kumwenda, Kim Commane and Jacqui Newton for this weekend’s match against the Adelaide Thunderbirds.
Commane and Newton will join the team as part of Suncorp Super Netball’s extra player policy which allows all teams to submit a list of 12 players for the next two rounds off the back of the 2019 Netball World Cup.
Mwai Kumwenda will return to the court for the Vixens after rupturing her ACL almost a year ago to the day (29 July, 2018). Ine-Mari Venter won’t play this week while she recovers from a calf injury she sustained while training with South Africa for the Netball World Cup.
Vixens head coach Simone McKinnis is looking forward to the team getting back out on court, particularly with the additional players for the next two weeks.
“While it’s been a unique circumstance, we’ve concentrated on keeping the momentum of the last few rounds for those athletes training in Melbourne, while also preparing for the World Cup athletes to return to the Vixens environment,” McKinnis.
“We’ve had a few training sessions all together this week which has allowed us to fine tune combinations to make the most of this opportunity to have 12 athletes on the list.
“Kim and Jacqui have worked really hard over the last month and we’re really confident they’ll be invaluable assets to the team should they take to the court.
“Kim has just returned from playing in the UK and is no stranger to the Vixens environment, while Jacqui has been a squad member for the last two years, so with their knowledge of the team and our expectations as well as their recent form at training, they will be the perfect fit.”
The Vixens will this week also welcome back Mwai ‘MJ’ Kumwenda after 12 months on the sideline. With a beaming smile, Simone credited MJ’s attitude towards her rehab.
“The work that MJ has been doing over the last twelve months and particularly in the last four weeks has been so impressive,” said McKinnis.
“She’s really put her head down with the goal to get 100% right before she takes to the court and I’m really proud that she’s able to get out there this week.”
The Melbourne Vixens will host the Adelaide Thunderbirds at 3.30pm on Sunday in a double header with Collingwood Magpies vs GIANTS Netball at Melbourne Arena.
Tickets are available through Ticketek or you can watch live on Telstra TV and the Netball Live app.
Now in her second season as a Vixens squad member, defender Jacqui Newton is one to keep an eye out for. Jacqui had her first taste of the SSN in 2018 when Emily Mannix was injured and this year captained Victorian Fury to the premiership in the Deakin University Australian Netball League.
Kim Commane got the call up for the Vixens in Round 14 last year, replacing Mwai Kumwenda when she ruptured her ACL. Kim impressed with 31/33 (94%) and was picked up by Team Bath in the Vitality Super League (England) where she played in their 2019 season. No stranger to the Vixens environment, Commane debuted for the Vixens in 2016 when she replaced Tegan Philip (ACL).