Diamonds mentor pays Wallabies a visit

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Wallabies were joined by one of Australia’s most successful sporting coaches on Wednesday night, with Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander presenting the team’s jerseys.

Alexander, from Melbourne, has led the Diamonds to Commonwealth Games gold and the 2015 Netball World Championship in one of their most successful periods.

A long-time rugby fan, Alexander jumped at the chance to be an observer at training and take away some new techniques and strategies.

“I love the tackle suits and I’m thinking they might be nice for us to prevent injuries,” she joked.

“But also training the way it’s set up how the two teams have been running and the system of today’s been running.

“There’s a couple of the things that have been done before training, all the tuneups and neurally getting ready, all the technical things the strength and conditioning  coaches love.”

The Diamonds, based out of Canberra’s AIS during national camps, have had close associations with some of the Wallabies, including captain Stephen Moore, Alexander said, as well as inviting Wallabies coach Michael Cheika  to the World Cup in 2015.

“That was a great opportunity to invite him into our space, our performance space but we’ve also had Stephen Moore at a lot of our Diamonds camps,  particularly when he was rehabbing just to observe what we’re doing in the Diamonds and just our culture development,” she said.

With netball and rugby strong in similar countries, Alexander said there were plenty of parallels to take out of preparation, despite the obvious differences between the sports.

“Learning from the great man Cheik and watching another national program it’s a fabulous opportunity and I’m really grateful.

“I’ve been a Wallabies fan for a long time, I went to the 2007 World Cup and I’m a bit of a tragic.”

Alexander's visit wasn't the only cross-sport encounter the Wallabies had this week, with Wallabies captain Stephen Moore dropping by AFL club, North Melbourne ahead of Saturday's Test match.