Former Diamond in line for shock Thunderbirds call-up

Renae Ingles could be set for a Thunderbirds return.
Renae Ingles could be set for a Thunderbirds return.

SPECULATION is growing former Adelaide Thunderbirds captain Renae Ingles will to make her first appearance in the side for almost two years in Saturday night's clash against the Queensland Firebirds at Adelaide Arena.

It is believed Thunderbirds coach Dan Ryan could be tempted to include the champion midcourter in the 10-person team after she stunned the club with her court work at training.

Ingles, who has not played netball since October 2015 following the birth of twins Jacob and Milla, has had only two weeks training with the club after her surprise decision to rejoin the Thunderbirds as a training partner for the inaugural Super Netball season.

However, she has surprised even herself with her fitness and form, prompting rumours she could be recalled for the Firebirds battle. The four training partners are eligible for selection.

"Renae has surprised herself and surprised me how well she has come back and how quickly she slotted into the environment," Ryan said. "She is in great condition.

"Her skills are still slick and she has added a lot to our environment in the space of a couple of weeks she has been back.

"We won't hesitate in selecting her if she deems to be up to it at Thursday night selection training."

Ingles captained the Thunderbirds for two seasons before being a member of the triumphant Diamonds side at the 2015 World Cup in Sydney.

The only player to start in all Australia's Cup matches, she then strained her right calf in the opening Test of the Constellation Cup against New Zealand and was forced out of the series.

She has been based in the US with husband and NBA basketballer Joe Ingles for most of the time since the birth of the twins in July and the fitness fanatic has spent plenty of time in the gym, as well as played basketball.

Should Ingles convince Ryan she deserves selection, she will be the fourth training partner to be named in the team in the opening six rounds this season.

Gia Abernethy, Charlee Hodges and Sasha Glasgow have already made a position impression when summoned into the side. Abernethy and Glasgow were in the starting seven in the loss to GWS Giants in Canberra on Sunday.

Topics:  adelaide thunderbirds queensland firebirds super netball

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