Four players from Collingwood Magpies Netball have been selected to represent Australia at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Four players from Collingwood Magpies Netball will represent Australia at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, with Madi Robinson, Caitlin Thwaites, Kim Ravaillion and April Brandley having been selected in the final team of 12.
Headlining the Magpies’ quartet is Collingwood skipper and Diamonds co vice-captain Madi Robinson, who will feature in her second Commonwealth Games campaign.
It’s a triumphant return to netball’s grandest stage for the 30-year-old, who will re-join the Australian Diamonds after missing the Constellation Cup and the most recent January Quad Series.
Joining the two-time Liz Ellis Diamond winner in the squad is Magpies defender and the ever-consistent April Brandley, who will make her Commonwealth Games debut after 21 caps with the national team.
Experienced Diamonds duo Caitlin Thwaites and Kim Ravaillion will be vying for their second Commonwealth Games gold medal in April, after competing with the Australian team in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
The selection is another remarkable endorsement for 24-year-old Ravaillion, who recently notched her 50th cap for the Diamonds after making her international debut in 2013.
For Caitlin Thwaites, the star shooter will be looking to emulate her stellar 2017 SSN form when she takes to the Commonwealth Games stage.
The Magpies will be strongly represented on the Gold Coast, having the most Diamonds from one Suncorp Super Netball club named in the Commonwealth Games squad.
Diamonds head coach Lisa Alexander said the selection process was difficult, but ultimately the selectors were pleased with the final team of 12.
“It was an enormously difficult selection, there’s no other way to say it,” explained Alexander.
“What we have done is try to pick a team on form, on who is performing now. It’s been tough, as we have had so many great performers for us.
“We have athletes in each area of the court who know what it takes to win a tournament at the highest level.
“We are very happy with the overall balance and versatility of the group."
The 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held from April 4-15, with the Diamonds competing in Pool A. The national team will come up against Jamaica, South Africa, Barbados, Fiji and Northern Island in the group stage.
The Australian Diamonds will go into a final Commonwealth Games camp in mid-March, before travelling to the Gold Coast ahead of their opening match against Northern Island on April 5.
STATE of ORIGIN/2018 SUNCORP SUPER NETBALL
Bassett ** Captain
WA/Sunshine Coast Lightning
WA/West Coast Fever
Simpson ** Vice Captain
QLD/Sunshine Coast Lightning
Thursday 5 April – Game 1 – Australia v Northern Island
Friday 6 April – Game 2 – Australia v Barbados
Sunday 8 April – Game 3 – Australia v South Africa
Monday 9 April – Game 4 – Australia v Fiji
Wednesday 11 April – Game 5 – Australia v Jamaica