Quad Series: Key Questions
Last Updated: 14/09/18 8:24pm
With four teams set to battle it out over six matches in seven days, there is plenty to look forward to when the Quad Series gets underway on Sky Sports on Saturday morning.
With that in mind we've got Tamsin Greenway, Karen Greig and Sara Bayman together to look through the squads and pick out the major talking points ahead of a Series that will shape some important decisions with a World Cup less than 12 months away.
Sky Live: Quad Series
All you need to know on the four teams involved in the latest instalment of the Quad Series
What impact does the World Cup start to have?
Sara Bayman - As soon as the Commonwealths was over, attention shifted to the World Cup. People want to win the Quad Series but they want to win it with the reason of looking ahead to the World Cup.
You look at the coaches and it will be interesting to see what different combinations we see from the teams as they test players out and decide on a final twelve for that World Cup selection.
For individual players, these are huge opportunities to stake a claim to be in that squad. As a stand alone tournament it is big, this year is all about prepping for the World Cup.
Tamsin Greenway - All four teams are in different situations so it's too far away and way too much could still happen in the next 12 months, the coaches will be aware of that.
It might be different for England, the team is not going to change much over the year barring injuries. New Zealand are building under a new coach and will reflect that, they will be interesting to watch as the year goes on.
Australia are interesting as they always go into Series as favourites - I don't think they are this time. They've lost a lot of players but it's been a bit of a throw out after they lost the Commonwealths.
Karen Greig - It's going to be interesting for both New Zealand and Australia with new coaching staff and players in place, so I'm excited to see what will happen.
England still have a fantastically strong squad out there - they've got a couple of changes but still a capable squad of beating Australia and New Zealand as well as South Africa.
Tracey Neville wanted to build a squad which she was proud of and it wasn't your normal eight to 10 players that were picking themselves. I think it was important that the full-time programme has now established a group of players who have all capable of taking to the court and Tracey has done a fantastic job of achieving that.
New dynamic for the Roses
Tamsin Greenway - There won't be too much change in the way that they are playing so long as they can keep everyone fit.
Defensively, in GD, that is a position where Guscoth might get some time. There is no Stacy Francis which is a big surprise for me as she has had an amazing year and also no Eboni Beckford Chambers so one question is who fills that GD position.
I don't think the four shooters are completely set with Ella Clark and George Fisher waiting in the wings - you never know what can happen, as we've seen with Beth Cobden, but things like that create an opportunity.
Karen Greig - Going into this Quad Series could be more of a difficult task than the Commonwealth Games.
Ultimately, they did a fantastic job at the Commonwealths with what they've managed to achieve and what they've done to netball in this country has been phenomenal.
I do think that they have a target on their heads now and I do think it could be a real difficult test for them.
The Commonwealths squad was obviously fantastic and did so well to win that medal, but now it's a whole different challenge for that squad in terms of cementing a place for the Netball World Cup squad
It will be nice to see some different combinations out there. It's always hard to go to Australia and New Zealand and beat them and I think the Commonwealths is a huge step forward for us. This is the next big challenge on the road to the World Cup.
Can new-look Australia bounce back?
Karen Greig - They would have gone through a really rigorous feed-back phase and reporting phase where they will look into the programme and see where their failings came. They'll be looking to put those things right.
They've had a few retirees over the last couple of months so Alexander will be looking to rebuild her squad but she has a few exciting new names in there who will be looking to prove a point and be fighting for a World Cup place.
A wounded Australian team is not really what you want to face, so they're going to come back with a lot to prove
Sara Bayman - I don't think Australia will change style - the personnel changes within the squad don't really affect the style that they play.
It's interesting that Lisa Alexander has just signed a contract extension to take her post World-Cup and I think it's a brave move by Netball Australia, a show of confidence in her that they're willing to sign her this early to continue. Selection has been a lot more controversial than it usually is with some players left out that people thought should be in there.
With the retirements as well, it'll be interesting to see how quickly they gel and whether it's just the same machine churning on that we're used to or whether we see a bit more of a chink in their armour after the Commonwealths.
Tamsin Greenway - They've lost a lot of experience and I am intrigued to see how it plays out, I just think they will come into this not as confident as the Aussies we usually see, it's not that the players are not good enough, it's just that other teams now don't fear them.
They still have holes where they don't know their starting players so they are going to be trying to find out who their GA is, who their C is and who their GD is - it's a difficult place for them to be, I don't think I've ever seen it in my career from an Australian team
Jo Weston is a quality youngster but whether she is a full-game player to fear, I am not sure yet. Gretal Tippett has been brought back having sat out Commonwealths but she is such a different GA.
Ferns turn to familiar faces and new coach
Noeline is the best coach in the world - she is worth an extra 10 goals no matter what the make up of the squad - and New Zealand should not be taken lightly.
Tamsin Greenway - They will play with no fear, work the ball through the court quickly and go for it - they may not have time to turn it around as quick as in one series, but by the time the World Cup comes up they will have to be watched.
The difference Langman makes in the middle of the court is huge and I think she will be relishing the chance to be back on the court and playing under Noeline. The defensive end looks a little weaker than they would have wanted to coming into the Series and their shooting circle is very different so the way that plays out will be interesting.
Karen Greig - Neither New Zealand or Australia would have been happy with the results from the Commonwealths, they would have done a lot in the last six to eight weeks and I think they'll be ready for it.
You only have to look at New Zealand and Noeline Taurua - she's already making a big impact and inroads into that squad, so it will be interesting to see how they set up.
I think the recent loss of Temalisi Fakahokotau to a knee injury will be a big blow so it will be interesting to see how they cope but having Laura Langman back will make a massive difference.
Sara Bayman - New Zealand have been on the slide for the last 18 months but the change in the New Zealand team, I think is what's going to make this series particularly interesting.
How it's taken Noeline Taurua this long to get the New Zealand job I'll never know because everywhere she's been she's made teams into winning teams and not necessarily with the best players in a league. The Kiwis didn't have a bad team at the Commonwealths, individually, they had very good players but they just weren't functioning as a team.
She will bring the ability to unite and create a positive environment and give them a bit of belief and confidence, which they were really lacking at the Commonwealth Games.
Building blocks for Proteas
Sara Bayman - The improvement in South Africa over the last 12-18 months has been the biggest of all the teams.
Now they are consistently competing with the other three teams in the Quad Series which wasn't the case at the very beginning and look at the players going abroad as well. Lenize Potgieter had another great season in New Zealand, Karla Pretorius (neé Mostert) was probably player of the Suncorp League in Australia - they've got huge players in key positions and the more exposure they've got at this level, the more they've improved.
They are posing a real threat and as they get people back from injury, they are going to get better and better leading into the World Cup.
Tamsin Greenway - It will be difficult for them to win but once again they will be looking to take a scalp, they always are and they almost always do - I would like to see them take it to Australia in particular.
The time they have together and the difference in the level that their players are playing compared to the other three squads, makes things difficult but they are getting there.
Pretorius is the best GD in the world and she is a match-winner. Lenize Potgieter is a brilliant shooter - but that's just a few players playing in Australia and New Zealand. For South Africa it needs to be across the board, the more experience they get, the better they will continue to get.
Karen Greig - South Africa have shown great improvements these last few of years and they were unfortunate to go into the Commonwealth Games with a few injuries.
They've got the likes of Lenize Potgieter and Karla Pretorius, so we can't ignore the threat that South Africa pose.
2018 Quad Series
|South Africa||v||Australia||3am, Sky Sports Mix & Action|
|New Zealand||v||England||5am, Sky Sports Mix, Action & Main Event|
|New Zealand||v||South Africa||8.30am, Sky Sports Mix, Action & Main Event|
|Australia||v||England||10.30am, Sky Sports Action & Main Event|
|South Africa||v||England||2am, Sky Sports Mix & Arena|
|Australia||v||New Zealand||4am, Sky Sports Mix & Arena|
Stick with us through the off-season as we reflect on the campaign, track the England internationals and the latest player movements ahead of a huge 2019 which will feature another thrilling Superleague season and the Netball World Cup.
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