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1 October 2009 | PR 09/128

Loughborough Lightning face Australia in World Series warm-up

Lisa StephensonLoughborough Lightning will play the Australian Netball Diamonds next Wednesday (7 October) as the world number ones warm-up for the forthcoming World Netball Series in Manchester.

Lightning have been chosen as the Diamonds’ only warm-up opposition in the UK for a match that will test out the new playing rules being debuted at the World Series.

Under the new regulations, matches have been reduced to four six-minute quarters, with each team electing a Power Play quarter where their points scored are doubled. Shooters can now score from both inside and outside the goal circle with shots netted from outside worth double points and unlimited rolling substitutions have been introduced. 

Loughborough player-coach Olivia Murphy, who faced Australia countless times during her international career with England, is looking forward to welcoming the Diamonds to the University.

“It’s a great opportunity for what is a young Lightning side to play against the best in the world,” she said. “For players like Sarah-Jane O’Sullivan and Katie Rose, who played against Australia at the Under-21 World Championships, it will good to see what’s expected from them at the next level.

“We’re definitely underdogs, but it gives the girls the chance to use all the skills they’ve picked up during their netball careers, and even try something new, against the world number ones. The new rules will add extra excitement to the match.”

Lightning will be missing their own internationals Jo Harten and Jade Clarke who are training with England ahead of the World Series, but the side receives a boost in the form of England squad members and Mavericks players Louisa Brownfield and Naida Hutchinson who have been drafted in to gain crucial match exposure.

The Loughborough Lightning v Australian Diamonds match takes place at the Loughborough University Netball Badminton Centre from 5pm on Wednesday 7 October. Entry is free though spaces are limited. Doors open at 4.30pm. For spectator information call 01509 226730. 

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

1. Photo: Lisa Stephenson of Loughborough Lightening.

2. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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