Spar Protea Head Coach, Norma Plummer, president of Netball South Africa, Cecilia Molokwane and Protea captain, Bongi Msomi. Pic: Supplied
The Proteas netball team will be looking for a shot in the arm when they take on the world’s top three nations in the Quad Series starting in England today.

The South Africans will take on the world number-one Australian Diamonds in the first match, in Liverpool this afternoon.

The Proteas will be playing matches against the world’s three top-ranked countries: Australia, New Zealand and England.

The series will be a good gauge of the Proteas’ strengths and weaknesses ahead of this year’s World Cup in Liverpool.

The 15-member squad gathered in Pretoria on January 3 for a training camp.

“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. 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.”

The Proteas suffered two heavy defeats against Australia and New Zealand in the last Quad Series.

They lost by 17 points to the Australian Diamonds before a 24-goal defeat to New Zealand.

The Proteas bounced back with aplomb, coming within three points of beating Commonwealth Games champions England in their final 2018 Quad Series match.

They have been battling to reclaim the form that saw them beat England for their maiden Quad Series victory in Invercargill in 2017.

Veteran centre-court player Erin Burger makes a welcome return to the competition after a career-threatening illness which kept her out of the team for most of last year.

South African coach Norma Plummer said the team has done well to blood a few new players and build their base.

“The team are training well here in Liverpool,” Plummmer said.

“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.”

Proteas squad: Erin Burger, Sigrid Burger, Khanyisa Chawane, Rome Dreyer, Maryka Holtzhausen, Phumza Maweni, Tshina Mdau, Bongiwe Msomi, (capt), Lenize Potgieter, Karla Pretorius, Monique Reynecke, Renske Stoltz, Shadine van der Merwe, Ine-Marie Venter, Zanele Vimbela

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