Jackson named in Australia squad for home World Cup

SYDNEY, (Reuters) – Hall of Famer Lauren Jackson will end her lengthy international retirement at the Women’s World Cup in Sydney next month after being named in the Australia squad for the tournament on Wednesday.

The 41-year-old triple Olympic silver medallist and 2006 world champion announced her retirement from elite basketball in 2016 after a knee injury prevented her playing at a fifth Olympics in Rio.

Coach Sandy Brondello said Jackson had done the work to earn her place in the 12-strong Opals squad that will be looking to go one better than the second place finish they achieved at the last World Cup in 2018.”There were a lot of emotions when Sandy rang me, I had a bit of a cry to be honest,” Jackson said in a news release.

“I have been working my body hard, and I didn’t honestly know if it was going to hold up to my intense training regime, but it has and I’m feeling good.

“I believe in this team and what we can achieve, if I can play a part if getting us onto the podium then the hard work is all worthwhile.”Australia, runners-up behind in the United States in 2018, will host the 19th edition of the global showpiece in two venues in Sydney from Sept. 22 to Oct. 1.

The Opals, ranked third in the world behind the United States and Spain, will play France, Serbia, Japan, Mali and Canada in the pool phase.