Two-time JCU Townsville Fire championship winner Darcee Garbin has been selected to make her Australian debut at the Four Nations series in China next month.
Earlier today, Garbin was named in the Opals’ 12-player squad for the seven-day tournament alongside new Fire teammate, Tess Madgen, who returns to national duties following an ACL injury.
The Four Nations series will be staged from July 14 to 21 and will also feature Argentina and Serbia and will play a key role in the Opals’ World Cup selection later this year.
Having been surprisingly overlooked for the recent Commonwealth Games, Garbin, who captained Australia to a gold medal at last year’s World Uni Games, gets her chance to represent her nation at senior level after another impressive WNBL season.
“Any time you get to represent your country is an absolute honour and I am super excited to make my Opals debut,” Garbin said.
“Hopefully it’s an opportunity for me to be able to show Sandy (Brondello) what I can do.”
Having spent 12 months on the sidelines following an ACL injury, Madgen, who narrowly missed selection for the Rio Olympic Games, returns to the Opals ahead of the World Cup.
The 27-year-old has made solid progress with Dandenong in recent weeks and is averaging 12.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5.8 assists since returning to the SEABL floor.
“It is a huge honour to be selected again to play for Australia so quickly after my return from injury,” Madgen said.
“I have been working really hard to get in the best possible shape - physically, mentally and skills-wise - to be ready to make an impact for Townsville’s title defence and what an awesome surprise that all that work has paid off to represent Australia.
“When a significant injury happens, you focus on ticking off day-to-day goals to get yourself back to where you were, and I am just so appreciative that it has given me another chance to wear the green and gold.”
The Opals are scheduled to depart for China on July 11.
Australian Opals squad: Steph Blicavs, Katie-Rae Ebzery, Darcee Garbin, Kelsey Griffin, Alice Kunek, Tessa Lavey, Tess Madgen, Ezi Magbegor, Lauren Mansfield, Jenna O’Hea, Nicole Seekamp and Tahlia Tupaea.