Madgen stakes her claim

September 16, 2018 | Townsville Fire news

Star JCU Townsville Fire recruit Tess Madgen has staked her claim for a key World Cup role for the Chemist Warehouse Opals in the lead-up to the showpiece tournament in Tenerife.

Among the last players cut for the 2014 campaign in Turkey where Australia won bronze – and the Rio Olympics – Madgen, who forced her way back into the Opals squad following an ACL injury, now shapes as a wildcard for Sandy Brondello following the withdrawals of Leilani Mitchell and Lauren Mansfield.

While primarily a shooting guard, Madgen has spent time at the point for Brondello in the past during her stint with Phoenix in the WNBA, and with Australia’s first choice ball handlers now home after succumbing to injury, the 28-year-old may well be called on to play a new role.

In the Opals’ 84-54 warm-up victory over China at the weekend, Madgen compiled seven points, six rebounds and three assists.

She was just as impressive against Spain overnight as she registered five points, two rebounds and two assists during a narrow 62-65 loss to Spain.

With just eight players taking the floor, the Opals took the contest up to the host nation despite missing Liz Cambage, Sami Whitcomb, Jenna O’Hea and Alex Bunton.

The Opals are expected to play Team USA behind closed door before facing Nigeria in their first game of the World Cup in Spain.

If they finish on top of Group B, Australia will automatically advance to the quarter-finals but a second or third-placed finish will see them placed into a qualification game.

World Cup schedule (all times AEST):

September 22: Australia v Nigeria at 8.30pm
September 23: Australia v Argentina at 8.00pm
September 25:
Australia v Turkey at 8.30pm
September 26: Quarter-Final qualifications
September 28: Quarter-Finals
September 29: Semi-Finals
September 30: Medal Games

Chemist Warehouse Australian Opals:

Bec Allen, Alex Bunton, Liz Cambage, Katie-Rae Ebzery, Cayla George, Tessa Lavey, Tess Madgen, Ezi Magbegor, Jenna O’Hea, Alanna Smith, Steph Talbot and Sami Whitcomb.