Five Melbourne Vixens players have been named in the Samsung Diamonds team to tour England in January.
Caitlin Thwaites, Emily Mannix, Jo Weston, Kate Moloney and Liz Watson have been named in the squad of 13 to contest the Quad Series against England, South Africa and New Zealand.
Moloney, a late inclusion into the Diamonds’ Constellation Cup team to replace Kim Ravaillion, has again earned her spot in the line-up, joining Diamonds regulars Thwaites, Watson, Weston and Mannix.
Coming off the first rounds of the Quad Series and the Constellation Cup across September and October, Jo Weston said the 13-player squad will use the January tour to prepare as a team for the 2019 World Cup.
“Across the Quad Series and Constellation Cup, you can see out on court how the relationships we have are continuing to build and having the 13 players means a lot as we're really trying to consolidate the connections we've been working on across the entire squad,” said Weston.
“I think January is another opportunity to do that, as well as get a bit more international experience for those in the team who have had less exposure.”
“We’re all preparing in our home states, and with five Vixens in the squad, we have the benefit of playing and training together. It’s definitely something we put a lot of work in to over the next few months so that it can be seamless when we are all together in the same place at once.”
The upcoming Quad Series is an important part of the international netball calendar, as preparations continue for the 2019 Netball World Cup, which will be held in June 2019.
Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander said the inclusion of 13 athletes to the team will allow for further line-up experimentation in the lead-up to netball’s biggest competition.
“I was very impressed with how we performed in both the recent Quad Series and Constellation Cup so I’m looking forward to January to where we’ll again be competing on the world stage, further developing our game plans and starting to really build towards our 2019 World Cup campaign,” Alexander said.
The 2019 Quad Series will be played between Australia, New Zealand, England and South Africa from 13-20 January 2019.