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Perfect World Cup warm-up as Proteas line up Kiwi Tests
- Updated: May 14, 2015
Good news for the SPAR Proteas netball team is that they will play two official Test matches against New Zealand ahead of the Netball World Cup in Sydney in August.
Netball South Africa (NSA) chief executive Blanche de la Guerre said New Zealand had approached NSA about playing the matches, and South Africa had jumped at the opportunity.
‘New Zealand are one of the strongest teams in the world, and it will be an excellent experience for our players. It also means they have time to recover from jet lag and get acclimatised before the World Cup, which starts on 7 August,’ said De la Guerre.
The Tests will be played in Hamilton on 27 July and in Auckland on 29 July. The Proteas will remain in New Zealand until 3 August when they will fly to Sydney. New Zealand are currently ranked second in the world, behind Australia. South Africa are ranked sixth. ‘We see it as something of a compliment that they have invited us to play there,’ said De La Guerre. ‘We surprised them in 1995, so maybe they want to see what we can do,’ she said. In 1995, South Africa beat New Zealand in the semi-final of the World Cup in Birmingham in England and went on to win the silver medal, after losing to Australia in the final.
De La Guerre said the hosts would pay South Africa’s accommodation expenses while they were in New Zealand.
The Proteas are currently in Belfast, Northern Ireland, taking part in the European Championships.
They will tackle Scotland and England in their opening two matches on Thursday.