Flames pair named in Opals’ pre-Olympic squad

December 12, 2023 | Sydney Flames news

Sydney Flames pair Cayla George and Tess Madgen have been named in the Australian Opals 20-person squad, as preparations ramp up for the 2023 Olympic Games in Paris.

The squad, announced on Tuesday, will be trimmed to 12 players prior to the team’s pre-Olympic qualifying tournament games in Belém against home nation Brazil, Serbia and Germany from February 8 to 11.

The Opals must finish top three in their group to qualify for next year’s Olympics.


The squad features all 12 players from the 2022 bronze-medal-winning World Cup team including 2023 WNBA champion George and Opals skipper Madgen.

Opals head coach Sandy Brondello said the squad featured plenty of international experience as well as Australia’s stars of the future.

“The qualifiers in Brazil are definitely a challenge, the standard of women’s basketball globally has lifted considerably since the last Olympics as the game continues to gain momentum,” Brondello said.

“Our squad is a great mix of experience and exciting emerging talent, so we approach the qualifiers with confidence but great respect for our opposition.


“We will have limited preparation for these qualifiers, but we know with the Opals, we lift for the big occasion and with an Olympics spot on the line we can expect each player to bring it.”

Joining the Hoops Capital duo in the squad are Rebecca Allen, Ezi Magbegor, Alanna Smith, Zitina Aokuso, Shyla Heal, Anneli Maley, Stephanie Talbot, Sara Blicavs, Lauren Jackson, Jade Melbourne, Marianna Tolo, Isobel Borlasse, Alice Kunek, Stephanie Reid, Kristy Wallace, Darcee Garbin, Maddison Rocci and Sami Whitcomb – Cheryl Chambers, Paul Goriss and Shannon Seebohm joining Brondello on the coaching staff.