Diamond Kim Ravaillion set to shine on world netball stage
IN A career packed with highlights, the last few weeks have been particularly memorable for Queensland Firebirds star Kim Ravaillion.
First, it was an ANZ Championship grand final triumph against the NSW Swifts, coming from behind to snatch a thrilling 57-56 win.
That was quickly followed by selection in the Australian team for the coming Netball World Cup - alongside Firebirds teammates Laura Geitz and Rebecca Bulley.
Ravaillion made history in 2013 when at just 20 she was selected to play her first game for Australia before she had played even a minute in the ANZ Championship, the first player to achieve the honour.
Looking back, she admitted her Test debut for her country was all a bit of a blur.
"I never expected it and I was just lucky to get picked," she told APN.
"I had to just treat it as if it was a school game, have fun and enjoy the opportunity."
Not much has changed 18 Tests later.
"I have to take every opportunity that comes my way with both hands, and give 100% every game," she said. Ravaillion won't be forgetting one particular game - last month's memorable triumph over the Swifts - any time soon.
"It was one of the best I've played in," she said.
"Everyone was embracing each other and jumping all over each other.
"Lots of girls were crying and the crowd went wild.
"We never give up and that's part of our strong team culture."
The 21-year-old said having Bulley (38 Tests) and Geitz (53 Tests) drive that culture as part of the Diamonds squad would be crucial if the team was to win its third consecutive world championship.
"Laura is such a great leader and she's like a sister to me off the court, and Bec is very competitive," Ravaillion said.
"I've learnt a lot off her too."
While Australia - unbeaten in its last 19 internationals - will start hot favourites to triumph again, Ravaillion said England, New Zealand and Jamaica, which will have the services of star Firebirds shooter Romelda Aiken, would not be pushovers.
The Diamonds open their Netball World Cup campaign against Trinidad and Tobago in Sydney on Friday, August 7.