Playing against the world’s best shooters in Super Netball will give Australia an advantage at the World Cup, according to defender Courtney Bruce.
Bruce and her Diamonds teammates are hunting a fourth consecutive World Cup when the tournament starts in London tonight.
The West Coast Fever captain will play a pivotal role for Australia as one of their more experienced defenders in a side which is set to be challenged by the likes of Helen Housby (England and NSW Swifts), Maria Folau (New Zealand and Adelaide Thunderbirds) and Bruce’s Fever teammate Jhaniele Fowler (Jamaica).
Bruce said the Australian defenders were lucky that they got to regularly play against the best shooters in the Australian competition.
“Having so many international players in Super Netball has helped everyone do their homework a little bit better,” she said.
“Everyone feels just that little bit more prepared going into the World Cup.”
Bruce said the one match-up she was looking forward to was a contest against Fowler, having helped keep her to 30 goals in their last meeting last year.
“We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses very well,” she said. You always want to challenge yourself against the best and Jhaniele is one of the very best.”
Australia begin their campaign against Northern Ireland, today before taking on Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka.
With the addition of goal-keeper and Diamonds debutant Sarah Klau, there is a chance Bruce will be asked to play in goal defence, something she would prefer.
“If I get the opportunity that would be fantastic,” she said.
“Once the team was picked we had some defensive conversations and some meetings to get that connection started early.
“We have only really had one change in that defensive end, so we know how each other work.”
Despite this year’s World Cup being her first, Bruce is not to daunted by the task, having already been in a similar high-pressure environment at last year’s Commonwealth Games.
“We can stay in our bubble a little bit more in the UK knowing that it is not our event to host,” she said.