The Proteas will turn out as firm favourites at the Diamond Challenge netball series which starts in Seshego, Limpopo on Tuesday afternoon.
They will face teams from Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia, as well as a national Presidents XII, at the five-day tournament.
Having won all four editions of the international series, which traditionally hosts some of Africa’s top netball teams, we take a glance at South Africa’s previous Diamond Challenge performances.
At the inaugural edition of the series, the Proteas earned convincing wins over Botswana and Zambia, but they were defeated 47-42 by perennial rivals Malawi in the round robin stages. Turning the tables in the final, the hosts produced a fine performance to edge out Malawi 47-43 as they lifted the title in front of a jubilant home crowd.
2013 (Port Elizabeth)
With most of the first-choice Proteas players making themselves unavailable due to work and study commitments, South Africa were represented by a national invitation side which was compiled largely of U-21 players. They nonetheless displayed their class by beating Zimbabwe 59-45 in the series final.
Going unbeaten in the round robin stages after sweeping aside Uganda, Zambia and Malawi, the Proteas were the firm favourites in the final. Again facing a strong Malawian side in the battle for the crown, South Africa trailed 22-19 at the half-time break, but they held their nerve and fought back to secure a 40-35 victory.
Facing relatively unfancied opposition, the Proteas finished top of the round robin table. While a national Presidents XII squad took second place ahead of Zimbabwe and Uganda, they did not qualify for the final as an invitation team, and South Africa romped to a 68-34 win over Zimbabwe in the trophy contest.