Midcourter Ashleigh Brazill has been told to pack her bags after receiving a late call up from coach Lisa Alexander for the Australian Diamonds’ England Tour in January after Renae Ingles failed to overcome an injury.
Ingles will miss the three-Test series with a calf strain sustained during Australia’s Constellation Cup series against the New Zealand Silver Ferns in October.
“We wanted to give Renae as much time as possible to prove her fitness and availability for the three Tests against England,” Alexander said.
“But we made the decision, in conjunction with our medical team, it is in Renae’s best interest to use this time to get herself back to full fitness.
“We want our top players on court for every Test match but the injury would prevent Renae from competing at her best for Australia and we’re not prepared to risk the careers of our athletes ahead of such a big year in 2016.”
“Playing for Australia is a huge honour every single time I get to wear the green and gold dress so to miss out on the series against England in January through injury is a huge disappointment for me,” Ingles said.
“While it was a difficult decision to make, I know that it’s the right decision for my career so I want to thank the Diamonds coaching and medical staff for their efforts in giving me every opportunity to be available for selection.”
Brazill’s inclusion on the tour will give the West Coast Fever captain another opportunity in the green and gold after she made her much awaited debut this year.
After injury prevented the 25-year-old from making her international debut following her first selection in 2012, Brazill recorded her maiden Test appearance in the third Test of the 2015 Constellation Cup in October in Melbourne.
“Getting my debut in Melbourne has really given me the drive to get back on court. I am thrilled to get another opportunity to play for our country,” Brazill said.
“The circumstances are unfortunate and I really feel for Renae; I wish her a speedy and full recovery.”
Alexander said it was a great opportunity for Brazill, who turns 26 later this month, to gain more international experience.
“Ash will provide us with an option at both centre and wing defence for what will be a tough tour of England,” Alexander said.
“The other area of advantage is that Ash has recently been involved with the team so she understands the tactics and strategies we have been working on.
“It will be terrific to have Ash as a part of the team.”