Lavey, Snell in Opals squad

BENDIGO Spirit duo Belinda Snell and Tessa Lavey have been named in the Australian Opals squad to tour Japan.

Tessa Lavey

Tessa Lavey

The Opals will play a four-game series against Japan and Mozambique as part of its preparation for upcoming FIBA World Championships in Turkey.

For Lavey, this will be her first senior tour with the Opals after impressing Joyce throughout the training camps and her efforts for the BA Centre of Excellence women’s team in SEABL this year.

The on-court action tips off on Friday 25 July for the Jayco Opals as they face Japan in the first of three games against the Asian powerhouse before rounding out the tour against Mozambique on Tuesday 29 July.

“This year alone the Jayco Opals have already completed five training camps and a tour of the USA, where we faced WNBA opposition,” Opals coach Brendan Joyce said.

“The ability to spend extended periods with the players has been invaluable as we have been able to work extensively not only on the X’s and O’s, but also building the Jayco Opals culture and identity.

“Taking a look at the squad for the tour of Japan and you can’t help but be excited to see so many young players getting the opportunity to press their claims for a spot in the World Championship team.”

In all there are six players in the squad 25 or under led by 2012 London Olympians Liz Cambage (22) and Rachel Jarry (22), along with Rebecca Allen (21), Natalie Burton (25), Lavey (21) and Tess Madgen (23).

The squad departs on Tuesday, with the first of games against Japan to be played on Friday.

Belinda Snell

Belinda Snell

The tour concludes against Mozambique on Tuesday, July 29.

Opals squad:

Rebecca Allen – Melbourne Boomers, Natalie Burton – Melbourne Boomers, Elizabeth Cambage – Dandenong Rangers, Laura Hodges – Adelaide Lightning, Natalie Hurst - Canberra Capitals/Canik BLD (Turkey), Rachel Jarry – Melbourne Boomers, Tessa Lavey – Bendigo Spirit, Tess Madgen – Melbourne Boomers, Leilani Mitchell – Sydney Uni Flames, Jennifer Screen – Adelaide Lightning, Belinda Snell – Bendigo Spirit, Marianna Tolo – Bourges (France).

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