The Commonwealth Games 2022 are slowly approaching. This is the ultimate preview guide by The Inner Sanctum, discussing all the Australians competing in Birmingham.
First up, Netball.
How will it work in Birmingham?
During the Commonwealth Games, the 12 competing nations are divided into two groups of six: Group A and Group B. Every team has to play the other nations in their group once with the two best teams of each group advancing to the semi-finals.
The first seed in Group A will play the second seed in Group B and the second seed in Group A will play against the first seed in Group B. The winner of these two semi-finals will than face each other for the gold medal while the losers will compete each other for bronze
Goal Keeper: Sunday Aryang (West Coast Fever), Courtney Bruce (West Coast Fever)
Goal Defence: Sarah Klau (NSW Swifts) Jo Weston (Melbourne Vixens)
Wing Defence: Ash Brazil (Collingwood Magpies)
Centre: Kate Moloney (Melbourne Vixens)
Wing Attack: Paige Hadley (NSW Swifts), Liz Watson (Melbourne Vixens)
Goal Attack: Kiera Austin (Melbourne Vixens), Gretel Bueta (Queensland Firebirds), Steph Wood (Sunshine Coast Lightning)
Goal Shooter: Cara Koenen (Sunshine Coast Lightning)
The Australian Diamonds squad consists of a range of both experienced and inexperienced players. The squad ranges from 30-year old veteran and two-time Commonwealth Games competitor Steph Wood to young 21-year old Sunday Aryang. Only four players who competed on the Gold Coast in 2018, will return for Birmingham.
Melbourne Vixens star Liz Watson will captain the team with Steph Wood taking up vice-captain duties. Donnell Wallam, Jamie-Lee Price and Ruby Bakewell-Doran will travel to England as reserves and will come into the squad if there are any injuries.
“I am incredibly excited to be playing alongside some of the best netballers in the world, and I am itching to see what this team can do in Birmingham,” Liz Watson said.
“We’ve all grown up watching and dreaming about the Commonwealth Games, and we hope to inspire the nation when we step onto the court to represent Australia,” she said.
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Individual to Watch
After injuring her ACL just before the Suncorp Super Netball 2021 Grand Final, Kiera Austin will make her highly anticipated return back to international level. The skilled goal-attacker will bring composure, reliability and versatility to the attacking circle.
Austin had a successful year with the Melbourne Vixens, leading them to the grand final alongside Diamonds teammates Liz Watson and Kate Moloney. She ended the Suncorp Super Netball competition with 239 goals, 143 assists and 77% goal accuracy. Her shooting range will come in handy for the Diamonds.
1st (Gold Medal)
The Diamonds have made the final gold medal match in each of the previous six Commonwealth Games. They have achieved three gold and three silver medals. Unfortunately the Diamonds were unable to win at home in 2018, as England defeated them in a surprising upset, 52-51.
Looking for revenge the Diamonds will be red-hot as the try and do what England did to them at the last Commonwealth Games and win on foreign soil.
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