The Australian Diamonds squad to contest the Netball World Cup in Sydney in August has just been announced, with nine players from last year’s Commonwealth Games gold medal winning team set to vie for the opportunity to win World Cup gold in 2015.
The major change to the Australian squad has been the inclusion of Adelaide Thunderbirds shooter Erin Bell, who was controversially overlooked for the Commonwealth Games squad last year, with selectors instead choosing Tegan Phillip from 2014 premiership winning team Melbourne Vixens.
With vice-captain Bianca Chatfield (Melbourne Vixens) announcing her international retirement last year after winning Commonwealth gold, and midcourter Madi Robinson (Melbourne Vixens) suffering a season-ending injury during the 2015 ANZ Championship, this opened up two vacancies on the national squad.
Rebecca Bulley, who was a member of this year’s ANZ Championship premiership winning team, the Queensland Firebirds, has been selected to replace Chatfield, despite spending more than half of this year’s season sitting on the bench. Up-and-coming midcourter Paige Hadley, from runners-up the NSW Swifts, has huge shoes to fill, replacing Robinson, who is widely considered as the world’s best wing attack. Robinson made history last year when she became the only player to win two Liz Ellis awards, the top award for Australian netballers.
The other squad members to contest this year’s Netball World Cup include Caitlin Bassett (WA/West Coast Fever), Julie Corletto (VIC/NSW Swifts), Laura Geitz (QLD/Queensland Firebirds), Kimberlee Green (NSW/NSW Swifts), Renae Hallinan (VIC/Adelaide Thunderbirds), Sharni Layton (VIC/NSW Swifts), Natalie Medhurst (SA/West Coast Fever), Kim Ravaillion (NSW/Queensland Firebirds) and Caitlin Thwaites (VIC/NSW Swifts).