17 Sep 2008

Swifts provide inspiration for Australia says Cox

6:49 pm on 17 September 2008

The Australian veteran Catherine Cox says her side says plenty to be confident about heading into tonight's opening netball test against New Zealand in Christchurch depsite fielding a relatively inexperienced lineup.

Just four of the Australian squad have 20 or more caps, with Australia having lost a wealth of experience since winning the world championships in Auckland last year.

Liz Ellis, Selina Gilsenan and Laura von Bertouch have retired and on top of that skipper Sharelle McMahon and Natalie Medhurst have been ruled out by injury.

Cox, who captained the New South Wales Swifts to success in the inaugural trans Tasman title, says the Australian side can draw confidence from that, as the Swifts won despite losing several experienced players through retirement.

She says another encouraging factor is that four of the top five teams in the competition were Australian - with the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic who finised runners, up the only New Zealand team in that group.

Cox says they'll use the series to experiment with combinations, with the long term goal being the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the 2011 world champs.