International Tests

What about us? Adelaide’s hunger for International Test matches

With the announcement in July that the Constellation Cup would return to Australian soil in October, it had many excited about the prospect of being able to see International Netball live once more.

Brisbane was fortunate to play host to these games, which have since been seldom spoken about and ticket sales postponed as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to presents challenges to the East Coast of Australia.

It was further announced last week that the Vitality Roses would travel to Australia for a three-test series following their matches against the Silver Ferns in Aotearoa.

While it wasn’t revealed in the press release where these games would be played, Ash Brazill and Bianca Chatfield discussed on their show Centre Court the Diamonds preparation process for the upcoming series, including indicating that all three of these games are to be played in Perth.

However, this is of course subject to change.

While it is understandable to choose Perth, given the large capacity of RAC Arena and the way they have been (touch wood) able to avoid any major COVID-related disruptions, as a local Adelaidian it makes me frustrated and disappointed that our drought of International Netball will continue.

Of all the states to host International Tests, South Australia has gone the longest without an appearance from the National Team, with the last game being during the 2017 Constellation Cup.

As of today, that’s 1427 days between drinks for a proud netball state.

Now there are obviously many factors contributing to locations being chosen to host test matches, especially given the current climate with border lockdowns popping up at the drop of a hat.

While WA have arguably been one of the best states in terms of managing COVID outbreaks, SA would have to be a close second, only having spent 10 days in lockdown since the pandemic began over 18 months ago, and previously being the destination of choice for the SSN Hub this season.

Netball SA CEO Bronwyn Klei commented on how much the Adelaide community loves netball when the hub was announced, and there are several large stadiums that would enable a large number of fans to get out and enjoy some world-class matches.

Perth netball fans are also known to be extremely passionate, but how great would it be to expose more of the country to International Netball rather than all three matches being played in one place.

And considering there is currently no border restriction between WA and SA right now there would be no quarantine restrictions for players and staff, making the option even more viable.

While no official announcement has been made surrounding the matches against England, and the location of Constellation Cup matches up in the air with growing COVID concerns. the best netball fans can do is hope we get to see some international matches at all regardless of their location.

Oh – what a time to be alive.

Header Image: Netball Australia

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