Australian Netball News: Jo Weston ready to prove herself as debut against New Zealand beckons

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Australian players celebrate after winning the Netball World Cup.
Members of the Australian team celebrate as they hold aloft the trophy after winning the Netball World Cup final game against New Zealand in Sydney, Australia, August 16, 2015. REUTERS/David Gray

Jo Weston has backed herself to be a long-term fixture in the Australian netball team after she was selected in the Diamonds team that will take on New Zealand in the Constellation Cup.

The 21-year-old was selected for the Diamonds Future Focus Camp last month after an impressive season with the Victorian Fury in the Australian Netball League and the Melbourne Vixens in the ANZ Championship. She was also the vice-captain of the Australian U-21 team and is now likely to partner captain Laura Geitz in defence in the senior team.

Julie Corletto and Bec Bulley’s retirement after the World Cup in August has meant that Weston chance to shine on the international stage has come sooner than expected, and the youngster hopes to take full advantage.

“My selection into the Constellation Cup camp came as a bit of a surprise for me,” Weston said. “I haven’t had any open-age Australian experience other than with the Fast5 team for the last two years.  I’m quite fortunate to progress to the squad straight away. Normally it might be a different pathway, so I’m really looking forward to it, playing with the world champions. So there’s big shoes to fill in terms of a couple of retirements, but I’m really looking forward to the opportunity. “My future in netball depends on my performances in the Constellation Cup and how I progress,” Weston told the Australian Sports Commission website.

The squad for the Constellation Cup has nine players who were a part of the World Cup winning team, but also features three other rookies apart from Weston in Gretel Tippett, Ashleigh Brazill and Gabi Simpson.

Australia won the Constellation Cup 4-0 in 2014, and have won four of the last five editions, with New Zealand’s only Cup win coming in 2012. This year, the series will open in Christchurch, New Zealand, with Vector Arena in Auckland hosting the second Test. The action will then move to Australia, with Melbourne hosting the third Test at the Hisense Arena while Perth hosts the final Test.

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