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Aussies still need Kiwis: Diamonds coach

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 29/05/2016 Adrian Warren

Silver Ferns captain Casey Kopua dejected after the team's loss to Australia in the netball World Cup final. © Getty Silver Ferns captain Casey Kopua dejected after the team's loss to Australia in the netball World Cup final. Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander says Australia still needs New Zealand despite it pulling the plug on the trans-Tasman netball competition.

The ANZ Championship featuring five teams from both countries is in it's eighth and final season.

Netball Australia recently announced it was adding three more franchises which will participate in a purely domestic eight-team competition from next year.

Although there still remains a possibility of a crossover competition, the two powerhouses of world netball are effectively going their own ways.

While the New Zealand competition is expected to include just about all their leading players, Alexander suggested some Australians might also end up on the other side of the Tasman,

"There might be some Australian players who don't get opportunities here that might be offered an opportunity in New Zealand," Alexander said.

"I am a glass half full person, I just see the positives of it. Hopefully this will grow the game in New Zealand as well

"They've got (pay TV network) Sky Sport and we'll still have obviously our fantastic rivalry with the Constellation Cup and the Quad series.

"And you never know, there could be that European style playoff at the end of the domestic season as well, so there's great opportunities for the sport to go from strength to strength.

"We still need New Zealand very much and we can work together to improve international standards of netball."

Alexander conceded selecting teams to face the Silver Ferns could be a more difficult proposition without regular trans-Tasman games.

"I've really enjoyed that aspect and it's actually helped us at selections," Alexander said.,

"So that is going to be a concern for us, that we're not going to see our Australian teams against New Zealand competition week in week out.

"From a selection point of view that has actually made things very clear about the athletes that can actually play their New Zealand style."

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