Diamonds name squad for Netball World Cup

West Coast Fever v Melbourne Vixens, ANZ Netball Championships, HBF Arena Perth. 6th April 2015The West Coast Fever has been rewarded for an undefeated start to the ANZ Championship season with five players selected in the Australian Diamonds 18-player squad ahead of the Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015.

Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander has included three new players in the squad with the uncapped Ashleigh Brazill and Khao Watts, along with April Letton, joining Fever teammates Caitlin Bassett and Natalie Medhurst.

Team performances have underlined the squad selections with 10 of the 18 players coming from the top two teams in the Australian Conference of the ANZ Championship with five players each from the West Coast Fever – the only undefeated team after seven rounds – and Queensland Firebirds.

“We’ve assembled a strong 18-player squad at this time that we believe gives us the best chance of selecting a team capable of winning the Netball World Cup title on home soil,” Australian Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander said.

“Along with ANZ Championship performances, the panel has considered the Diamonds International High Performance requirements, Netball World Cup opponents and past international performances into squad selections.”

New inclusionsWest Coast Fever v Southern Steel, ANZ Netball Championships, HBF Arena Perth. 14th March 2015 Letton has one international appearance to her name after playing against England on Australia Day in January 2013 while Brazill was named in the Diamonds team in 2012 but was forced to withdraw through injury.

Watts, one of just four uncapped players in the squad alongside Brazill, Karyn Bailey and Gabi Simpson, was plucked from South Australian State League by the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic in 2012 before joining the Fever last year.

Alexander has named five invitees to join the Diamonds at a three-day camp at Netball Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Canberra from May 5-7 with Carla Borrego, Shae Brown, Gretel Tippett, Liz Watson and Amy Steel to provide additional support for match play sessions.

Players not initially included in the 18-player squad may be elevated to squad status, therefore available for World Cup team selection, at the discretion of selectors.

The 12-player Australian Diamonds team to contest the Netball World Cup from 7-16 August in Sydney will be named following the conclusion of the ANZ Championship season.

2015 Australian Diamonds Squad:

(ANZ Championship team/state of origin)
Karyn Bailey (Melbourne Vixens/NT), Caitlin Bassett (West Coast Fever/WA), Erin Bell (Adelaide Thunderbirds/NSW), Ashleigh Brazill (West Coast Fever/NSW), Rebecca Bulley (Queensland Firebirds/VIC), Julie Corletto (NSW Swifts/VIC), Laura Geitz (Queensland Firebirds/QLD), Kimberlee Green (NSW Swifts/NSW), Renae Hallinan (Adelaide Thunderbirds/VIC), Sharni Layton (NSW Swifts/VIC), April Letton (West Coast Fever/NSW), Claire McMeniman (Queensland Firebirds/QLD), Natalie Medhurst (West Coast Fever/SA), Tegan Philip (Melbourne Vixens/VIC),  Kimberley Ravaillion (Queensland Firebirds/NSW), Gabi Simpson (Queensland Firebirds/NSW), Caitlin Thwaites (NSW Swifts/VIC), Khao Watts (West Coast Fever/SA)

Invitees:

(ANZ Championship team/state of origin)
Carla Borrego (Adelaide Thunderbirds/SA), Shae Brown (West Coast Fever/VIC), Gretel Tippett (Queensland Firebirds/QLD), Liz Watson (Melbourne Vixens/VIC), Amy Steel (Adelaide Thunderbirds/VIC)

Images courtesy of Daniel Carson | dcimages.org