SOME of the key players in netball's trans-Tasman rivalry will go into battle in Launceston in February when ANZ Championship clubs Melbourne Vixens and Northern Mystics use the Silverdome to fine-tune their 2014 preparations.
The preseason fixture could feature Diamonds vice-captain Bianca Chatfield, Catherine Cox and Madison Browne among the Vixens, while Silver Ferns Solonaima Maria Tutaia, Anna Harrison, Catherine Latu, Kayla Cullen, Bailey Mes, Laura Langman and Jodi Tod-Elliott call the Mystics home along with former Vixen and Australian representative Julie Corletto.
The match on Saturday, February 8, will be the first between an Australian and New Zealand team on Tasmanian soil, and has come about due to a strategic partnership with Netball Tasmania and Netball Victoria.
The Vixens are coming off a strong 2013, which saw the 2009 champions and 2012 runners-up reach the preliminary final, while the Mystics finished bottom of the ladder in the 10-team competition with just one win.
``This is a great example of what can be achieved by two organisations working together for the good of netball and for the community,'' Netball Tasmania chairwoman Liz Banks said yesterday.
``We are delighted that our passionate netball community will have the chance to see the very best of international netball in their own state.''
It will be the first time top-flight netball has been played at the Silverdome since the Melbourne Kestrels defeated the Sydney Swifts 58-44 in the old National Netball League in 2007.
Banks also acknowledged the support from the state government and especially Events Tasmania for making the game possible.
There will be a curtain-raiser between the best netballers from the North and South of the state.
Players will be selected by the coaches of the eight Aurora League clubs to represent the region where they first played netball.
Preseason netball match
WHAT: ANZ Championship preseason match between Melbourne Vixens and Northern Mystic.
WHERE: The Silverdome, Launceston.
WHEN: Saturday, February 8.