Australia national netball team

The Australia national netball team, commonly known as the Australian Netball Diamonds and Samsung Diamonds for sponsorship reasons, represent Australia in international netball tests and competitions. The team was formed in 1938 and played that year in the first international game of netball against New Zealand.

Australia
Nickname(s)Diamonds
AssociationNetball Australia
Head coachLisa Alexander
CaptainCaitlin Bassett
Most capsLiz Ellis (122)
INF ranking1
Team colours
Alternate
First international
Australia  40 – 11  New Zealand
Melbourne, 1938
Largest win
Australia  113 - 12  Singapore
Sydney, 1991
Largest defeat
New Zealand  61 - 36  Australia
Auckland, 2005
World Championships
Appearances15 (Debuted in 1963)
2019 placing2nd
Titles won11
Commonwealth Games
Appearances6 (Debuted in 1998)
2018 placing2nd
Best resultFirst (1998, 2002, 2014)

The Diamonds are administered by Netball Australia, the national governing body for netball in Australia. Players are usually selected from the Australian Suncorp Super Netball franchises. The team is presently captained by Giants Netball shooter Caitlin Bassett.

History

The Australia national netball team originates in 1934, when female players participating in what was then known as women's basketball at a national carnival in Brisbane, were later selected for the sport's first international match against New Zealand in Melbourne on 20 August 1938.[1] The outbreak of the Second World War delayed a three-match tour of New Zealand to 1948, which the Australian side won handsomely against their trans-tasman opponents.[1] Their first match against non-Kiwi opposition occurred in 1956, when the team played a Sri Lankan composite side on the way to a staggering 57-game tour of the United Kingdom, which featured tests against Scotland and England, of which the latter was played before 5,000 people at Wembley Stadium.[1]

The sport harmonised its rules in time for the inaugural World Championships in 1963, which Australia won.[1] The Diamonds dominance of international netball continued thereafter, winning 11 of the next 14 World Championship (since renamed the Netball World Cup) titles and coming second only to New Zealand. Since netball's inclusion in the Commonwealth Games in 1998, the Diamonds have won three gold medals, having lost twice in finals to New Zealand and once (quite recently in 2018) to England. Their historical success has ensured their number one ranking in the INF World Rankings.

Australia's fiercest rival in the sport is New Zealand, nicknamed the Silver Ferns. As of October 2013, the two nations had met in 115 test matches with just 13 victories separating the teams.[2] Then national team coach Norma Plummer labelled it "the one game you want to play in...it's exhilarating because it's the best in the world, nothing else beats it."[2] Famous Australian wins over the Silver Ferns include a five-goal win at the 1983 World Championships and a memorable one-goal win with seconds to spare in the final of the 1999 tournament, which was played in Christchurch before a hostile audience.[3] The Diamonds have won eight of nine Constellation Cups between the nations. The team has met the Silver Ferns in several World Cup finals, winning the gold medal match in Sydney in 2015 but losing the equivalent match in Liverpool four years later.

In more recent years, Australia have developed a keen rivalry with the England Roses. The Roses' thrilling win over the Diamonds in the final match of the 2018 Commonwealth Games was labelled "the biggest gold medal upset in the history of the Commonwealth Games" by The Australian.[4]

Prior to 2008 the team was simply known as the Australian national netball team. In the second half of the year Netball Australia formally adopted the nickname the Diamonds, a concept familiar to most other Australian sporting teams, including the women's national basketball team, the Opals.[5] Lisa Alexander has been the head coach since August 2011; she took over from national team player Norma Plummer.[6]

When competing at the Fast5 Netball World Series, the team is referred to as the Fast5 Flyers.[7]

Competitive record

Netball World Cup
Year Championship Location Placing
19631st World ChampionshipsEastbourne, England 1st
19672nd World ChampionshipsPerth, Australia 2nd
19713rd World ChampionshipsKingston, Jamaica 1st
19754th World ChampionshipsAuckland, New Zealand 1st
19795th World ChampionshipsPort of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago Joint 1st
19836th World ChampionshipsSingapore 1st
19877th World ChampionshipsGlasgow, Scotland Joint 2nd
19918th World ChampionshipsSydney, Australia 1st
19959th World ChampionshipsBirmingham, England 1st
199910th World ChampionshipsChristchurch, New Zealand 1st
200311th World ChampionshipsKingston, Jamaica 2nd
200712th World ChampionshipsAuckland, New Zealand 1st
201113th World ChampionshipsSingapore 1st
201514th World CupSydney, Australia 1st
201915th World CupLiverpool, England 2nd
Netball at the Commonwealth Games
Year Games Event Location Placing
1998XVI Games1st NetballKuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1st
2002XVII Games2nd NetballManchester, England 1st
2006XVIII Games3rd NetballMelbourne, Australia 2nd
2010XIX Games4th NetballDelhi, India 2nd
2014XX Games5th NetballGlasgow, Scotland 1st
2018XXI Games6th NetballGold Coast, Australia 2nd
Fast5 World Netball Series
Year Tournament Location Placing
20091st World SeriesManchester, England 3rd
20102nd World SeriesLiverpool, England 4th
20113rd World SeriesLiverpool, England 3rd
20124th World SeriesAuckland, New Zealand sixth
20135th World SeriesAuckland, New Zealand 2nd
20146th World SeriesAuckland, New Zealand 2nd
20167th World SeriesMelbourne, Australia 2nd
20178th World SeriesMelbourne, Australia 3rd
20189th World SeriesMelbourne, Australia 3rd
Netball at the World Games
Year Games Event Location Placing
19852nd World Games1st NetballLondon, England 2nd
19893rd World Games2nd NetballKarlsruhe, Germany 2nd
19934th World Games3rd NetballThe Hague, Netherlands 1st

Players

Current Diamonds Squad

The current roster was selected for the 2019 Constellation Cup.[8]

Australian Diamonds roster
PlayersCoaches
NamePosDOBHeightClubNatCaps
Caitlin Bassett (c) GS 23/05/1988 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in) Giants Netball 100
Ashleigh Brazill WD, C 29/12/1989 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in) Collingwood Magpies 8
Courtney Bruce GK, GD 08/12/1993 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in) West Coast Fever 36
Paige Hadley C, WA, WD 26/8/1992 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in) New South Wales Swifts 28
Sarah Klau GK, GD 30/9/1994 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in) New South Wales Swifts 9
Tegan Philip GA, GS 3/09/1988 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in) Melbourne Vixens 15
Jamie-Lee Price WD, C 10/01/1996 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in) Giants Netball 13
Laura Scherian WA, C 26/07/1988 1.67 m (5 ft 6 in) Sunshine Coast Lightning 4
Caitlin Thwaites GS, GA 29/12/1986 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) Melbourne Vixens 55
Gretel Tippett GA, GS, WA 03/07/1993 1.92 m (6 ft 4 in) Queensland Firebirds 36
Maddy Turner GD, WD, GK 17/12/1995 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in) New South Wales Swifts 1
Liz Watson (vc) WA, C 30/03/1994 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) Melbourne Vixens 44
Joanna Weston GD, WD, GK 14/02/1994 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) Melbourne Vixens 38
Head coach
Assistant coach



Notes
  • (c) Captain
  • (cc) Co-captain
  • (vc) Vice-captain
  • Injury / maternity leave
  • (TRP) Temporary Replacement Player
Player profiles: Team website Last updated: 19/09/2019

Notable past players

  • Liz Ellis AM: Most capped Australian Netball player with 122 test caps. Liz has commentated the majority of Netball matches played in Australia for the ANZ Championship and the Constellation Cup since 2008. Ellis is currently a Wide World of Sports commentator for the Suncorp Super Netball league.
  • Sharelle McMahon: Represented Australia in 118 tests spanning 14 years. Known for shooting the final-second winning shot in the 1999 Netball World Cup final. Sharelle is currently a 9/Gem Commentator for the Suncorp Super Netball league.
  • Catherine Cox: Accumulated 108 Test caps and more than 2000 goals for Australia. Cath is currently a 9/Gem Commentator for the Suncorp Super Netball league.
  • Norma Plummer: Former player and captain and is the former coach of the Australian Diamonds and of the West Coast Fever. She is the current coach of the SPAR Proteas
  • Vicki Wilson: Has 104 test caps to her name. Coach of the Firebirds 2006–2009, was a commentator for Network Ten and an assistant coach of New Zealand.
  • Kathryn Harby-Williams: Fierce defender for Australia with 94 test caps.
  • Rosalie Jencke: Defender for Australia with 43 test caps. Current coach of the Queensland Firebirds.
  • Shelley O'Donnell: Played for Australia for 10 years with 80 test caps.
  • Anne Sargeant OAM: Shooter for Australia. 52 test caps to her name in a period with many fewer annual test matches compared to 2001–2013. Anne is currently a 9/Gem Commentator for the Suncorp Super Netball league and is the selector for the national team.
  • Michelle den Dekker: Defender for Australia with 84 test caps and was captain in 1985–86 and from 1988–95. Den Dekker was also the coach of the Thunderbirds[9] and has been a specialist coach for the national team as well.
  • Natalie von Bertouch: Mid-courter for Australia with 76 tests and captain from 2010-2013.
  • Sharni Layton: Defender for Australia with 46 tests caps.

Most-capped Australian netballers

Source: Past Players (Netball Australia)

Name Test Caps State Test Team Years
Liz Ellis122NSW1993–2007
Sharelle McMahon118VIC1998–2011
Catherine Cox108NSW1997, 2000–2013
Vicki Wilson104QLD1985–1999
Caitlin Bassett100WA2008–Present
Kathryn Harby-Williams94SA1990, 1992–2003
Carissa Tombs91NSW1989–1999
Natalie Medhurst86SA2007–Present
Michelle den Dekker84SA1985–1986, 1988–1995
Shelley O'Donnell80VIC1990–1999
Natalie von Bertouch76SA2004–2013
Kimberlee Green74NSW2008–2015
Laura Geitz71QLD2008–2018
Susan Pettitt71NSW2006–2018

Kit suppliers

Australia's kits are supplied by Coast2Coast. The team sponsors are Samsung, Nissan, Suncorp and Woolworths.[10]

Home Courts

The Diamonds use many different home courts around Australia. The courts they most commonly use are:

VenueCapacityCity
Qudos Bank Arena18,200Sydney
RAC Arena14,846Perth
Brisbane Entertainment Centre11,000Brisbane
Adelaide Entertainment Centre10,500Adelaide
Melbourne Arena10,500Melbourne
AIS Arena5,200Canberra

See also

References

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