Opals Australia v France Women’s basketball world cup start time, teams, stream, TV

The Opals face their most important game since the 2016 Rio Olympics when they kick off their FIBA Women’s World Cup campaign against France at the Sydney SuperDome tonight at 8:30pm (AEST).

A first up win over France will be crucial for the Opals given their group includes the likes of Serbia, Canada, and Japan – and they must finish in the top two to progress to the quarterfinals.

France will field a youthful line up with big names – guard Marine Johannes, centre Sandrine Gruda and guard Bria Hartley not playing in Sydney.

While the Opals welcome Lauren Jackson back on their 12-strong roster after she remarkably came back from years of retirement to be selected aged 41.

“It’s been a very big ride, an intense one,” said Jackson, a four-time Olympic medallist and seven-time WNBA all-star who first played for the Opals 25 years ago.

“The girls are feeling pretty good and it’s a really exciting time, but a nervous time for me.” Now a mother, Australia’s greatest women’s player retired in 2016 with a persistent knee injury before launching a return in April to make her fifth World Cup.