The Jayco Australian Opals are bound for Rio in January, with a 12 strong squad named for the upcoming test event tipping off on 15 January 2016.
While the test event team will be different to the final team that will contest the Rio Olympics, it retains much of the squad that won the bronze medal at the 2014 World Championships.
The team also contains many of the current captains of the WNBL teams and highlights the strength of the WNBL competition.
The Jayco Opals will contest the test event at the Carioca Arena at the Barra Olympic Park, which is the arena where the Olympics finals will be held for Women’s Basketball.
Departing on 10 January, the Jayco Opals will play on January 15, 16 and 17 against teams from Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela. The team will train in the Olympic venue from after arrival in Rio and will play an unofficial scrimmage with Brazil on the 13 January.
Jayco Opals Head Coach Brendan Joyce has stated that “It is always a fantastic opportunity to play the host in their country ahead of a major tournament. We had the same opportunity playing in Turkey prior to the 2014 World Championships. It is always positive for the team to familiarise themselves in the venue that will be part of the 2016 Olympic Games.”
“The team taken to this event will allow us to continue to develop our style of play, cohesion and develop the culture required for continued success. All of these elements are dynamic and as stated players will be added to this team prior to the Olympic Games in 2016.” Joyce said.
A number of players who would have made the squad have been omitted due to overseas commitments or injury.
The test event competition in Rio will be followed by training camps in March and April and tours of Japan and Europe in 2016 in preparation for the Rio Olympics.
Jayco Opals Test Event Squad:
|3||Abby||Bishop||University of Canberra Capitals|
|5||Katie Rae||Ebzery||Sydney University Flames|
|12||Stephanie||Talbot||University of Canberra Capitals|
Head Coach – Brendan Joyce
Assistant Coaches – Damian Cotter, Lori Chizik
Analyst – Scott Butler
Doctor – Dr Simone Page
Physiotherapist – Rachel McAlister
Soft Tissue Therapist – Kerry Lawrence
Manager – Tamara Sheppard