Proteas netball team's long wait finally over

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Johannesburg – The wait is finally over for the South Africa women’s netball team as they take on hosts Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.

The Proteas will be taking to the court for the first time this year outside the country. The last time the Proteas travelled internationally was in January 2020 for the Vitality Netball Nations Series in England.

SA coach Dorette Badenhorst chose a group of 15 players who will participate in the series with four of them being uncapped, namely Boitumelo Mahloko, Jessica du Plessis, Refiloe Nketsa and Elmeré van der Berg.

Badenhorst said: “As coaches we are very grateful to have some game time. When the Jamaica series was called off we were very heartbroken and Covid taught us to adapt and that preserving lives matters for all of us.

“We have set ourselves some targets on and off court. We will take every opportunity to try some combinations, build new ones and perfect the current ones we have as well. The spirit in the camp is very good and these players have worked hard on and off court. They have really shown great character.”

With the Commonwealth Games just a few months away, it is important for the team to get some game time and for the coaches to assess the players.

Badenhorst said: “For some of these players, this is their first time outside of the country. They have worked hard to get here and showed some character. As a team we are building on relationships and will go out there to play some great netball.”

The Proteas will play their first match against Ireland today in Gormanston Park and a second match tomorrow.

The team will play five matches involving Ireland, Northern Ireland’s Warriors, Wales, and Scottish Thistles. The team will travel to Lisburn, Northern Ireland for their remaining matches.

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