Netball: Jade Clarke ready for Australia challenge at Commonwealth Games
Last Updated: 23/07/14 12:46pm
Netball captain Jade Clarke says England are 'ready for the challenge' of facing fierce rivals Australia at this month's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
England, who beat the Australian Diamonds 3-0 in the Tri-series in January 2013, will face the world No 2 ranked side in their second Pool B game of the Games on Saturday, July 26.
Newly-appointed captain Clarke, who plays domestically for New Zealand-based side EasiYo Tactix in the trans-Tasman ANZ Championship, insists the 12-strong squad is looking forward to the tough fixture.
She told SkySports.com: "We hit Australia early on in our second game, after playing Wales – who's style we are familiar with - but Australia's style is completely different.
"We’re ready for the challenge and I think it’s a good thing that we’re playing them early on because, to be honest, we just can’t wait!"
New Zealand, the world's top-ranked side and reigning gold medallists from Delhi 2010, are drawn in Pool A along with Jamaica (4), Malawi (5), Northern Ireland (11), St. Lucia (12) and home nation Scotland (13).
Despite a loss to the Silver Ferns this January, Clarke believes her side could be victorious if the pair were to meet in the latter stages of the competition.
The 30-year-old from Manchester said: "We were pretty disappointed with our performance against them in January.
"We know we have the players to beat any team but we’ve got to go out there and actually put on the performance in that pressure situation.
"We are the best-prepared team I’ve ever been part of, and with us going semi-centralised last year, we’re putting in the hard work and it's showing. We’re ready to go out there and play against ranks one and two and show what we can do."