Jackson back in bodysuit

Jackson back in bodysuit

Australian Defence Force Opals captain Lauren Jackson will suit up for the national team she led to World Championship glory when the Opals play two games against the United States next month. Jackson, along with US-based World Champions Tully Bevilaqua

Australian Defence Force Opals captain Lauren Jackson will suit up for the national team she led to World Championship glory when the Opals play two games against the United States next month.

Jackson, along with US-based World Champions Tully Bevilaqua and Belinda Snell, will join the Opals for the final two games of a 7-game, 19-day tour of France, Russia and the United States.

World Championship MVP Penny Taylor, who’s Phoenix Mercury knocked Jackson’s Seattle Storm out of the WNBA playoffs today, has made herself unavailable for the duration of the tour.

The Opals are using the tour as part of their preparation for Beijing and will depart Sydney on September 3 and return on September 22. They will also play one game against China while in Russia.

“Building on from the games we had in China last month and being able to access some of our younger Sapphires continues the excitement for this program leading into Beijing,” Australian Defence Force Opals head coach Jan Stirling said.

“Our games against the US will provide opportunities to evaluate any gaps or deficiencies, allowing us time to adjust and prepare for Olympic competition.

“As current World Champions we become a targeted team and to achieve Olympic Gold will require even greater diligence to the process, but it is achievable.”

The 2007 Defence Force Opals touring team for France and Russia:

Michelle BROGAN      Forward           Dandenong Rangers
Renae CAMINO           Guard              Adelaide Lightning
Rohanee COX              Forward/C       Townsville Fire
Kathleen MACLEOD    Guard              Bendigo Spirit
Hollie GRIMA              Forward/C       Napoli (Italy)
Alicia POTO                 Guard              Sydney Uni Flames
Natalie PORTER          Forward           Sydney Uni Flames
Emma RANDALL         Forward/C       Bulleen Melbourne Boomers
Jenni SCREEN              Forward           Parma (Italy)
Deanna SMITH            Guard/F           Montigarda (Italy)
Laura SUMMERTON   Forward           Taranto (Italy)
Carly WILSON             Guard/F           Perth Lynx

*Renae Camino, Kathleen Macleod and Deanna Smith will be released from duty before the team heads to the United States to make way for Jackson, Bevilaqua and Snell.

The 2007 Defence Force Opals touring team for the United States:

Tully BEVILAQUA        Guard              Indiana Fever (USA)
Michelle BROGAN      Forward           Dandenong Rangers
Rohanee COX              Forward/C       Townsville Fire
Hollie GRIMA              Forward/C       Napoli (Italy)
Lauren JACKSON         Forward/C       Seattle Storm (USA)
Alicia POTO                 Guard              Sydney Uni Flames
Natalie PORTER          Forward           Sydney Uni Flames
Emma RANDALL         Forward/C       Bulleen Melbourne Boomers
Jenni SCREEN              Forward           Parma (Italy)
Belinda SNELL Guard              Phoenix Mercury (USA)         
Laura SUMMERTON   Forward           Taranto (Italy)
Carly WILSON             Guard              Perth Lynx

Staff:
Jan STIRLING               Head Coach
Gary FOX                     Assistant Coach
Amanda Berntsen       Physiotherapist
Donna O’CONNOR      Strength & Conditioning
Diana GLAZER Massage Therapist
Maja MARKOVIC        Doctor
Marian STEWART       Team Manager

Touring Schedule:
(all times local)

3 Sep – Depart Sydney International Airport on QF31 at 4:55pm
6 Sep – Game 1 AUS v FRA 8pm @ Palais des Sports, Lille
7 Sep – Game 2 AUS v FRA 8pm @ Complexe Sportif de Denain, Denain
8 Sep – Depart France for Russia
9 Sep – Game 3 AUS v RUS
11 Sep – Game 4 AUS v CHN
12 Sep – Game 5 AUS v RUS
13 Sep – Depart Russia for USA
16 Sep – Game 6 AUS v USA @ 1pm – Sovereign Bank Arena, Trenton, New Jersey
19 Sep – Game 7 AUS v USA @ 7pm – Mohegan Sun Arena, Connecticut
20 Sep – Depart USA for Australia
22 Sep – Arrive Australia