South Africa: Netball Extravaganza for Durban
Netball lovers have a feast to look forward in the New Year, when the world's top netball teams arrive in Durban late January for the next phase of the Quad Series, involving Australia, New Zealand, England and South Africa.
It was announced earlier this year that the four countries had joined forces in a ground-breaking partnership to be known as the Quad Series nicknamed SANZEA. The aim of the partnership is to provide the four teams with the opportunity to play high-level international netball outside of the regular World Cup and Commonwealth Games competitions.
The inaugural event was played in New Zealand and Australia, with the competition moving to South Africa and England early in 2017.
Three matches will be played at Durban's International Convention Centre on Saturday 28 January and Tuesday 31 January.
On Saturday, the opening match is between the Australian Diamonds and the New Zealand Silver Ferns - a mouth-watering encounter between the two giants of world netball. This will be followed by the match between the SPAR Proteas and the English Roses in a much anticipated battle of the flowers.
The final match, on January 31, is between the Proteas and the Diamonds.
Tickets for the matches are available from Computicket, with prices ranging from R20 to R200 for VIP seating. Tournament combination packages are available at very competitive prices.
Netball South Africa (NSA) chief executive Blanche de la Guerre said NSA were very excited about the Quad Series.
'We know how important it is for the SPAR Proteas to play the best teams in the world, not only at the World Cup and Commonwealth Games, but in between as well,' she said.
'Australia are the world and Commonwealth Games champions, and New Zealand and England are ranked second and third respectively. The Proteas are ranked fifth in the world, and we need to test ourselves against the best on a regular basis, so that we can learn and grow.
'We will see to it that the Proteas are ready for the challenge. We are so excited to offer them a brand-new competition. Coach Norma Plummer has been making great strides with the team and we believe they will be really competitive, particularly in front of a home crowd.'
27 January: 3pm -Australian Diamonds v New Zealand Silver Ferns, 5pm - Proteas v England Roses
31 January: 7pm - Proteas v Australian Diamonds
Source: South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee