Liverpool - The netball Proteas are in high spirits ahead of the next leg of the SANZEA Quad series tournament in Liverpool in the United Kingdom.
The 15-member squad gathered in Pretoria on January 3 for a training camp before arriving in Liverpool on January 8 to prepare for the tournament in which they will play the three top-ranked countries - Australia, New Zealand and England.
"We're very excited," said captain Bongiwe Msomi.
"Our training has been going very well, and we’re very excited about our first match, against Australia, on Sunday. We see it as a fresh start and we have some new things we will be trying out," she said.
"We are aware that it's a big year for netball, with the World Cup in Liverpool in July. Everyone is very excited to step out on court and see how we do against the top three teams."
Veteran centre court player Erin Burger makes a welcome return after a career-threatening illness that kept her out of the team for most of last year. Her presence strengthens the centre court, which was plagued by a lack of experience in the first two legs of the Quad Series in 2018.
Norma Plummer, the Proteas head coach said "The team are training well here in Liverpool. Since the last Quad Series the young players are proving their worth, it's great to have some players back from injury and in general the whole movement of the team is much better and we look forward to giving the Australians a good run for their money and hopefully we will return to South Africa with a win from this Quad Series."
The Proteas play the Australian Diamonds in the first match on Sunday afternoon, after which the Commonwealth Games champions the England Roses take on the New Zealand Silver Ferns.
The tournament continues next weekend, when the Proteas play the Roses on Saturday and the Silver Ferns on Sunday.
The games will all be shown live on SuperSport.
Erin Burger, Sigrid Burger, Khanyisa Chawane, Rome Dreyer, Maryka Holtzhausen, Phumza Maweni, Tshina Mdau, Bongiwe Msomi, (captain), Lenize Potgieter, Karla Pretorius, Monique Reynecke, Renske Stoltz, Shadine van der Merwe, Ine-Marie Venter, Zanele Vimbela
FIXTURES & TELEVISION SCHEDULE
Sunday, January 13 (Echo Arena, Liverpool) - 17:30 - South Africa vs. Australia
Saturday, January 19 (Copper Box, London) - 21:00 - England vs. South Africa
Sunday, January 20 (Copper Box, London) - 17:30 - South Africa vs. New Zealand