Launceston Tornadoes take on Hobart Lady Chargers in Elphin practice match

WARM-UP: Tornadoes player Nina Howard, coach Ben Rush and Basketball Tas CEO Chris McCoy are ready for a busy weekend. Picture: Paul Scambler
WARM-UP: Tornadoes player Nina Howard, coach Ben Rush and Basketball Tas CEO Chris McCoy are ready for a busy weekend. Picture: Paul Scambler

The Launceston Tornadoes will take on the Hobart Lady Chargers and a McKinnon Cougars team from Victoria at Elphin Stadium this weekend as they ramp up their pre-season preparations.

Tornadoes head coach Ben Rush said it would be good to have a look at the Chargers’ women before they meet in the SEABL opening round in Hobart on March 25.

“I don’t know how close they will be to their final team for the season but for us it is a chance to see how our team is progressing and how our young players are going and who is going to be able to step up and play this season,” he said.

“We are still working on some signings and hopefully we will have an announcement next week of another WNBL player we are very close to signing and our younger players are vying for spots so we’re still working on a couple of things and all that will become clearer over the next couple of weeks.”

The Tornadoes have re-signed captain Lauren Mansfield and Mikaela Ruef but will be missing Tayla Roberts, Ally Wilson and Sammi Phillips who has moved to Queensland with Gemma Korpershoek retiring and Ali Partridge likely to take the season off.

Former Charger Ellie Collins has moved North for uni and will play with Nina and Olivia Howard and Bec Abel returning and some new faces locally.

Elphin Stadium will be buzzing with senior basketball action on Saturday and Sunday with the McKinnon Cougars bringing teams to compete against Tasmanian teams.

“We are thrilled to host the four Victorian teams (men’s, women’s and under-23s) as part of their pre-season preparations and it allows our teams to get some quality games,” Basketball Tasmania chief executive Chris McCoy said.

The Hobart Chargers men’s and women’s teams will play alongside the Tornadoes against the interstate opposition over two days with state under-18 teams also involved.