100 internationals for De Bruin
Tue, 30 Oct 2012 6:49p.m.
By Ashlee Tulloch
As the Silver Ferns prepare to take revenge on Australia after last week's 20-point thrashing, their motivation to win is even stronger with star defender Leana De Bruin set to play her 100th international match.
De Bruin is used to being in the spotlight, and Thursday's game against Australia will be no different when she brings up her century.
“It's the pinnacle of netball really playing against Australia, obviously hopefully 100 tests so [I’m] definitely excited.”
After notching up 34 tests for South Africa De Bruin moved to New Zealand, making her Ferns debut in 2003, the same year the Silver Ferns won the World Championships.
“It definitely feels like a long time ago,” De Bruin says. “Such an amazing year. What a year to actually join the team and win gold. So yeah, definitely one to remember."
Irene Van Dyk remains the most capped netballer - it'll be the 40-year-old's 211th international on Thursday. And having played with De Bruin as a Protea and a Fern, she knows how special Thursday’s milestone will be.
"To play in front of a home crowd is just fantastic and the fact her mum is here to celebrate it is just so special,” Van Dyk says.
The 35-year-old mother of one doesn't think she'll reach the 200 mark, but she's still got a lot left in the tank playing the game she loves.
"Every year everything gets better and faster and you've got to train harder and smarter when you're our age,” De Bruin says. “I just love being around the team environment and going out and testing myself against the best and that’s what keeps me going.”
So playing Australia in two days' time will be the perfect way to celebrate the special occasion.
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