For Rotorua squash player Amanda Landers-Murphy, finding out she has been selected to represent New Zealand never gets old.

The 26-year-old was as excited as ever to be named in the New Zealand squash team to compete at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April, although she admitted her selection was also a relief. It will be her second appearance at the games, having competed in Glasgow in 2014.

"It's hard to put the feeling into words, you're excited but relieved at the same time. You feel like what you have worked so hard for has paid off - it's all of that put together.

"[When representing New Zealand on the world stage] it's almost hard to take it all in at the time, it's not until you reflect on it and receive messages of congratulations from home that it really sinks in.


"I think I've got a bit more experience and a bit more confidence to go away with this time around. I think what I learnt from Glasgow, for me personally, is to believe in myself and have more confidence with it.

"Last time it was all pretty unknown. I'm not just going for experience this time, I have a bit to offer and I want a medal - I believe our team is capable of coming back with a few," Landers-Murphy said.

Rotorua's Amanda Landers-Murphy has been selected in the New Zealand squash team for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Photo / Stephen Parker
Rotorua's Amanda Landers-Murphy has been selected in the New Zealand squash team for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Photo / Stephen Parker

She is one of two women in the New Zealand team, alongside three-time Commonwealth Games medal winner and women's world number nine Joelle King from Cambridge.

The men's contingent is made up of Paul Coll, of Greymouth, who is current world number 13, Campbell Grayson, of Auckland, ranked 41st, Evan Williams, of Wellington, ranked 90th, Lance Beddoes, of Auckland, ranked 127th and Zac Millar, of Hamilton, ranked 329th.

Landers-Murphy is ranked 38th in the world and will play in the women's singles, women's doubles with King and mixed doubles with Millar.

The women's pair played together in Glasgow, where they made it to the quarter-finals, but have since won two consecutive doubles world titles.

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Posted by Squash New Zealand on Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Her combination with Millar is relatively new, they finished ninth at last year's World Doubles Squash Championships, but Landers-Murphy believed it was a partnership ready to blossom.

"I'm really excited to see what Zac and I can do as a mixed pairing, we are a new pairing and it's his first time, but we've been getting stronger with every game we play together.

"[The relationship between doubles pairings] is really important - the ability to know what you need to do without communicating it. You need to step on that court and know exactly what your job is and that your partner has your back. I think we have that."

Her form at an individual level is promising, having won the London Open in November.

"That was the biggest tournament win of my career so far, it was my first win outside of Oceania," she said.

New Zealand have won nine Commonwealth Games squash medals since the sport was first included in 1998 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

New Zealand Commonwealth Games squash team

Joelle King – women's singles, women's doubles (with Landers-Murphy), mixed doubles (with Coll)
Amanda Landers-Murphy – women's singles, women's doubles (with King), mixed doubles (with Millar)
Paul Coll – men's singles, men's doubles (with Grayson), mixed doubles (with King)
Campbell Grayson – men's singles, men's doubles (with Coll)
Evan Williams – men's singles, men's doubles (with Beddoes)
Lance Beddoes – men's doubles (with Williams)
Zac Millar – mixed doubles (with Landers-Murphy)