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Garbin back, Bennetts in for massive Derby clash with Giants

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

NSW Swifts attacker Sophie Garbin is back in the team for this Sunday's Suncorp Super Netball Round 8 clash with the Giants at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney.

The Australian Fast5 representative was sidelined for the past three rounds with a medial ligament strain but has proven her fitness and is in line to return for the second local derby of the season.

The Swifts currently sit top of the Super Netball table with six wins and one loss to their name, however, they will face a stern challenge from the fourth-placed Giants, who they beat 63-56 in Round 1.

NSW lost their captain Maddy Proud for the season earlier this week due to a ruptured ACL in her right knee and have called in NSW Waratahs representative Elle Bennetts as a temporary replacement player.

Bennetts, who is originally from Victoria, played for the Victorian Fury in the Australian Netball League before she made the move to Sydney to play AFLW for the GWS Giants.

However she remains first and foremost an elite netballer and has produced a string of fine performances for the Waratahs, who sit second on the ANL ladder.

Head coach Briony Akle said she was delighted to have Garbin back, and have Bennetts in her squad, for what promises to be a hugely intense clash with the Giants.

"Sophie has worked very hard to get back to full fitness and was disappointed not to be playing in Brisbane, but it's always better to err on the side of caution with niggling injuries," Akle said.

"However, she's been an outstanding team player while being sidelined and has worked hard with our team to get back in time for this huge game.

"The Giants are really going to bring it on Sunday. We got past them in Round 1 but they only just had Caitlin Bassett back from injury so they'll be a much harder prospect this time around."

Of Bennetts, Akle said she was delighted to see such a talented netballer finally get her chance.

"Elle has been hugely influential in the Waratahs this year and is a really elite athlete," she added.

"At 29 it's taken a while for her to get her chance, but she has a wealth of experience of top-level netball and came through the Victorian pathway, which is ruthless because there is so much competition.

"Despite playing AFL she's never forgotten that netball is the sport that made her into the athlete she is today, and getting the chance to potentially debut for the NSW Swifts in our famous Red Dress would be a dream come true for her."

The NSW Swifts and Giants go head to head at Qudos Bank Arena at 3.00pm on Sunday 16 June. The game will be broadcast on Telstra TV and on Telstra's Netball Live app.

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