Following the recent hugely successful inaugural Suncorp Spirit Cup in Mackay, Sunshine Coast Lightning and the Queensland Firebirds are delighted to announce the competition will arrive in Toowoomba in 2023.

With Suncorp once again supporting both Queensland teams, the second Suncorp Spirit Cup clash will be held at the Clive Berghofer Recreation Centre on March 4.

The game will be a crucial warm-up for both clubs just two weeks before the start of the 2023 Suncorp Super Netball season.

While the full extended squads took the court in Mackay where Firebirds emerged victors, Toowoomba provides the opportunity to see both teams in fighting form just weeks out from their first official match.

Lightning will be fighting to claim the trophy back in next year’s fixture, with South African defender Karla Pretorius set to return to the squad as well as the Club’s final player — soon to be announced — who will replace recently retired Kate Walsh.

“The Suncorp Spirit Cup match in Toowoomba will be a highly competitive, contested game just a fortnight out from our first Suncorp Super Netball fixture, and will be great preparation for us to test combinations and structures leading into the season,” Head Coach Belinda Reynolds said.

“The first game in Mackay was a great opportunity to see the team in action and ready to evolve our game plan, however this game in Toowoomba we will be pressure-testing ourselves and believe the game will be contested with great energy and passion from both Clubs.

“I love taking our great game to the regions and I am excited to play in Toowoomba. Not only will the locals get to witness world-class netball, but we will also have an opportunity to engage and connect with our loyal fans there.”

Firebirds goaler Mia Stower put on a thrilling performance in Mackay and is eager to put on a repeat performance in her hometown of Toowoomba.

“I’m so excited the Suncorp Spirit Cup is being played in Toowoomba,” Stower said.

“I can’t wait to put on a show for our fans and bring elite netball to the community I grew up in.

“Our time in Mackay was amazing and I can’t wait to see the Darling Downs community come out in strength to cheer us on in March.”

March’s contest will be played in a modified format similar to that used in Mackay, with both Clubs expected to take extended squads.

Tickets for the event go on sale on Friday, December 16 at 10am AEST.

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