Samsung Diamonds vice-captain Gabi Simpson has been ruled out of the remaining two matches of the Quad Series after sustaining a minor injury to her upper leg during a practice match.
New Samsung Diamonds squad member Kiera Austin has been named in the team as her replacement and, if she takes to the court, Austin will become Diamond #177.
Alongside injured captain Caitlin Bassett, Simpson will remain involved with the team in an off-court leadership capacity for the remainder of the tour, sitting on the team’s secondary bench.
For the remainder of the Quad Series, Caitlin Thwaites and Liz Watson have been elevated from the team’s leadership group to on-court captain and vice-captain respectively.
Coach Lisa Alexander is disappointed to have her two team leaders sidelined due to injury but is buoyed by the depth of leadership within her squad.
“It is very unfortunate that Gabi has been ruled out of this series, but we’re grateful it’s only a minor injury and that, like Caitlin (Bassett), she’ll be back on the court training with her Suncorp Super Netball team within weeks,” she said.
“However, we push forward, and this situation will provide a great opportunity for not only Kiera who may debut for the Diamonds this weekend, but for the rest of the team to step up in their respective roles and to lead from the front.
“We’re building our momentum towards the Vitality Netball World Cup in July and this provides a tremendous opportunity for our athletes to demonstrate why they should be in that team.”
The Samsung Diamonds take on the New Zealand Silver Ferns at 3:30am Saturday morning (AEDST) and the England Roses at 5am (AEDST). Both matches can be watched live on 9Gem and the Netball Live app. A full broadcast schedule can be found here.