Netball Quad Series Preview: Will the Australian Diamonds shine again?
The Quad Series gets underway in South Africa on Saturday 28th January before moving to England for the second half of the competition.
Reigning world champions Australia will be determined to defend their title but will face stiff competition from world no. 2s New Zealand, world no. 3s England and world no. 5s South Africa.
Here Sports Gazette gives you a quick rundown on what happened in the previous Quad Series as well as where you can follow all the action.
What happened in the last Quad Series?
Australia oozed class as they trounced South Africa 68-43 and cruised to a 66-46 victory over England to set up a title-deciding showdown against New Zealand.
The Silver Ferns had secured comfortable 65-39 and 65-46 wins against the Roses and the Proteas.
In the battle of the top ranking teams in international netball, the Diamonds came out on top 60-55, thanks to a stunning performance from Caitlin Bassett.
England won their final game 57-44 against South Africa as Jade Clarke became the Roses' most capped netballer of all time.
Netball fans across the country can catch all of the Quad Series games live on Sky Sports Mix. The Roses’ final match of the series, in which they face the Diamonds, will also be shown on BBC 2.
Saturday 28th January
Australia v New Zealand (Durban) – Sky Sports Mix – 1pm
South Africa v England (Durban) – Sky Sports Mix – 3pm
Tuesday 31st January
South Africa v Australia (Durban) – Sky Sports Mix – 5pm
Thursday 2nd February
England v New Zealand (Liverpool) – Sky Sports Mix – 7.45pm
Sunday 5th February
England v Australia (Wembley) – Sky Sports Mix/BBC 2 – 1pm
New Zealand v South Africa (Wembley) – Sky Sports Mix – 3.30pm
Twitter accounts to follow
If you want to follow the action while you’re on the move, here are some of the best accounts to check out.
England: @England_Netball, @amaagbeze (captain), @traceynev (coach)
South Africa: @Netball_SA, @BongiweMsomi2 (captain), @Coach_Plum (coach)
Australia: @AussieDiamonds, @Sharni_Layton (captain), @CoachLisaA (coach)
New Zealand: @SilverFernsNZ, @Katrinagrant7 (captain)
Sports Gazette (@SportsGazette) will be courtside in both Liverpool and Wembley to report live, bring you exclusive interviews and keep you up to date as the Quad Series concludes.
It was left to the final match of the 2016 Quad Series to decide the competition's inaugural champions as the Australian Diamonds edged out the New Zealand Silver Ferns.
The opening match of the 2017 Series pits these two sides against each other so it’s likely to give a strong indication of who will win the title.
Expectations are high for England, especially as the second half of the Series is on home soil and the support from the crowds is always fantastic, but can they handle the heat in Durban?
1st: Australia, 2nd: New Zealand, 3rd: England, 4th: South Africa
Don’t agree with our predictions? Let us know on @SportsGazette!