Constellation Cup locked in for October

Photo: Australian Diamonds

The Origin Diamonds will be looking to reclaim the Constellation Cup from the New Zealand Silver Ferns when the series takes place in October.

The Diamonds will host the Silver ferns at Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Wednesday 13 October, before travelling to the Cairns Convention Centre on Sunday 17 October.

This will be the first test match that the Diamonds will play in Cairns.

The Diamonds will then cross the Tasman where matches will be played at Auckland’s Spark Arena on Thursday 21 October and Wellington’s TSB Arena on Sunday 24 October.

When the two sides met in March, New Zealand won the series 3-1, the first time since 2012 that the Silver Ferns got their hands on the Constellation Cup.

Silver Ferns after winning the Constellation Cup in March. Photo: Silver Ferns

Origin Australian Diamonds coach Stacey Marinkovich was delighted to announce the series would be played in Australia, before moving to New Zealand through the Trans-Tasman travel bubble.

“It’s fantastic to have international netball return to Australia,” Marinkovich said.

“The last result was disappointing, but our new group took a number of learnings out of the series and we will continue to grow as we set our sights on bringing the Constellation Cup back to Australia.

“It has been a long time since netball fans have been able to watch live international netball in Australia, and we hope to have a huge home crowd advantage in Brisbane and Cairns.”

Marinkovich along with fellow Diamonds Selectors Anne Sargeant OAM and Michelle Wilkins will announce the squad that will take on the Silver Ferns in late August.

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Tourism Tropical North Queensland Chief Executive Officer Mark Olsen said he was delighted to have international netball return to Cairns after successfully hosting Suncorp Super Netball League matches in 2020.

“It will be the first international sporting event to be held at the newly refurbished Cairns Convention Centre,” Olsen said.

“The Constellation Cup adds to the growing number of national sporting events and training camps, including the current Australian Dolphins Swim Team camp, being held in Cairns.

“Together these events demonstrate that our region has the capability to host national and international sporting events where the athletes can enjoy training and competing in a spectacular nature-based destination.”

As naming rights partner of the Origin Australian Diamonds, Origin’s Head of Retail Jon Briskin said it was an exciting announcement for netball fans.

“We are thrilled for all the players and fans that the Origin Australian Diamonds are set to play their first matches on Australian soil in well over a year,” Briskin said.

“It has been such a long wait and we look forward to the excitement of watching netball at the highest level and cheering on our national team against our great rivals New Zealand.”

Tourism and Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said this was a series Queenslanders won’t want to miss.

“The Origin Australian Diamonds versus the New Zealand Silver Ferns is one of the greatest rivalries in international netball,” she said.

“It’s a rivalry that provides two options to catch the action, in Brisbane, and the newly refurbished Cairns Convention Centre.

“This is a great win for international sport and tourism, and we can host events like this because of the great work of Queenslanders in managing the health impacts of the pandemic.”

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