The Robinhood Stars and MG Mystics are excited to announce they will be playing the Melbourne Vixens in pre-season matches in February.

The Vixens are one of Australia’s top netball franchises and won the Suncorp Super Netball title in 2020.

It’ll be the first public outing for both the Stars and Mystics since they contested the 2023 ANZ Premiership Grand Final.

All games will be held at the Auckland Netball Centre, with the Stars facing the Vixens on Friday February 23rd, before the Mystics take to the court on Saturday February 24th.

Stars coach Kiri Wills believes it’s great to be able to test themselves against some quality Australian opposition.

“I think it’s really important to have opportunities to play a team like the Vixens, as I think our players need this to be able to progress their game and feel something different in the off-season.” Wills said.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for our fans to come and see us play against one of the strongest teams in Australia too. Having a point of difference and change is something I’m sure fans will enjoy watching.”

MG Mystics coach Tia Winikerei agrees.

“The challenge of playing against a classy Australian side such as the Vixens, who will definitely bring a style of play which is different from what we are used to, is invaluable learning for our team.” Winikerei explained.

“Being early in the pre-season gives us an opportunity to stretch our current skill-set and build our determination to train, play and perform in 2024. We have some young players who are yet to experience the tenacious Australian game-style, so I am thrilled by the opportunity for them to feel this and treat our whānau and fans to some exciting Trans-Tasman competition. “

Melbourne Vixens General Manager, High Performance Megan Simpson said:

“The team is excited to head across the ditch and put our pre-season preparations to the test against quality opposition in the Stars and Mystics. It’s a great opportunity to challenge ourselves against a different style of play.”

“It’s been a number of years since we last visited New Zealand as a team – we’re looking forward to bringing that Trans-Tasman rivalry back to the fore and playing in front of some passionate Kiwi crowds in Auckland.”

Tickets for games will go on sale for members on January 19th and will be available to the public from January 24th.