Jennie Wyllie: Silver Ferns confirmed for home Constellation Cup series against Australia


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Netball New Zealand has confirmed a four-match Constellation Cup series between the Silver Ferns and Australia Diamonds in March.
The tournament was originally scheduled for last September before being postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The first two matches on March 2 and 3 will be played in Christchurch, before moving north to Tauranga for the third and fourth games on March 6 and 7.
The series will pit the top two teams in the world against each other, and be the first between the transtasman rivals since the 2019 Constellation Cup, which was successfully retained by Australia.
It will also be the first time Australia will play New Zealand under new coach Stacey Marinkovich.
The Silver Ferns will not have much form to work off once the series rolls around in a little over one month. Their last international series was a 3-0 sweep over a depleted England side for the Taini Jamieson trophy in October and November 2020.
Prior to that they recorded an historic win over the New Zealand men's side in the domestic Cadbury Series.
Netball NZ chief executive Jennie Wyllie said she was delighted to announce the series after a long wait.
"We're really excited to confirm this series after the disappointments of postponing the Constellation Cup in 2020 due to Covid-19," she said.
"We'd also like to acknowledge the Australian Diamonds for agreeing to come to New Zealand where they will go into the mandatory two-week quarantine leading into the series.
"To be able to host international netball in the current climate is something we do not take lightly so we're excited to see our world champion Silver Ferns have the opportunity to take on one of their toughest opponents."
Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua said she was looking forward to the challenge of playing the Diamonds.
"Australia is deservedly ranked number one in our sport and as a Silver Fern, there is nothing better than gauging yourself against the world's best.
"We love the trans-Tasman rivalry and Constellation Cup. It truly is a blessing that we can rekindle our connections, and play the sport both countries love in these Covid times."
The Constellation Cup is also set to be played later this year as part of an international calendar for the Silver Ferns.

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