The world’s best Touch Footballers will take to the field at Mudgee’s new Glen Willow Regional Sporting Complex next week, with Australia and New Zealand’s Men’s, Women’s and Mixed teams to battle it out in a rematch of the 2011 World Cup finals.
The 2012 Trans Tasman Test Series returns to Australia with the world’s top two Touch Football countries set to continue their strong rivalry from Thursday, 26 April until Saturday, 28 April.
The three game series will take place on Thursday night, Friday night and Saturday afternoon, while players will also march in the ANZAC Day parade in Mudgee on Wednesday, 25 April prior to the event. It is symbolic that they will meet on the ANZAC weekend, an occasion very special to both proud nations.
Australia is still on a high from its 2011 World Cup performance, winning all three Open titles against the Kiwis and is hopeful of defending its Trans Tasman title, while New Zealand is determined to reverse the result and cause an upset to the Australian teams in their own backyard.
The three Australian teams will display a mixture of youth and experience for the series, with 16 players making their debut at an Open level for Australia – one in Men’s Open, six in Women’s Open and nine in Mixed Open.
Twenty-eight players that helped Australia win the 2011 World Cup title will take to the field against New Zealand, with their experience to hold Australia in good stead for the series.
School students Charlotte Caslick (Brisbane) and Ashleigh Quinlan (Sydney) will both make their debut for the Australian Women’s Open team in Mudgee. At just 17, the pair will be two of the youngest Australian representatives in the history of the sport.
19-year-old Emilee Cherry from Toowoomba will be another player to watch, having recently made her debut for Australia in Rugby Sevens. Already with 12 Australian caps to her name in Touch Football, Cherry is regarded as one of the brightest prospects in both sports and has an exciting future ahead of her.
Twins Gemma and Nikki Etheridge will represent Australia in the Mixed Open division for the first time together, with Gemma to make her debut in the green and gold, while Nikki has represented Australia previously in the 2009 and 2010 Trans Tasman events.
Australian Women’s Open veteran, Kristy Judd will once again represent Australia and has already got 66 Australian caps to her name over her 17-year career. Judd made her debut for Australia at the 1995 World Cup, which was the year that the youngest member of the Australian Women’s team, Charlotte Caslick, was born.
The Australian Men’s and Women’s Open teams will be hoping to continue their strong records against New Zealand in the Trans Tasman format, having never lost a series in the history of the event. The Australian Women’s Open team has one of the best records across any sport, having never lost a game at a World Cup level in the event’s 24 year history, and only losing one Trans Tasman game against New Zealand since 1986.