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Hadley earns shock Diamonds call-up

  • Hadley earns shock Diamonds call-up
  • Hadley earns shock Diamonds call-up

The day Paige Hadley ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament last year, the devastated midcourter wrote two things in her diary she hoped to achieve in 2015.

Win the trans-Tasman competition and earn selection on Australia's Netball World Cup squad.

Hadley came extremely close to realising the first goal on Sunday, only for her NSW Swifts to be pipped by the Queensland Firebirds in a dramatic grand final.

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But the 22-year-old can tick off the second, after being unexpectedly picked from outside the provisional squad in the Diamonds' final 12-player squad that will seek a third consecutive world title in Sydney in August.

Capping a great comeback from knee reconstruction surgery early last year, Hadley was the bolter selection while Erin Bell and Rebecca Bulley earned recalls in coach Lisa Alexander's squad.

The Sydney-born rising star will cover the midcourt vacancy left by the dynamic Madi Robinson, ruled out following her own knee reconstruction surgery.

Hadley admitted shock when the selection phone call came from Alexander on Monday.

"I said, `This is a joke'," Hadley told AAP.

"The smile hasn't wiped off my face for the last three days.

"When I got the call I actually sat down at home with mum and said, `Oh my God, this time 12 months ago I was learning to run again. I was learning how to squat again. I was learning everything again'.

"My goal was to win the grand final and to make worlds. And I know it was a big ambition, but you've got to have goals.

"To be here in the green and gold is unreal."

Alexander said she'd monitored Hadley this season and been especially impressed by her play under pressure through the ANZ Championship finals series.

"Her selection was a little bit of a surprise I guess to people, but you wouldn't be surprised if you have been watching Paige's form over the past two months - and we've been watching that very closely," Alexander said.

Hadley, Bell and Bulley are the only three players who weren't part of the squad that broke Australia's Commonwealth Games 12-year drought in Glasgow last year.

Glasgow gold medallist Tegan Phillips is the biggest casualty, as Bell was awarded the contentious second goal attack bib over her, in-form Swifts shooter Susan Pettitt and young Firebirds gun Gretel Tippett.

Bulley gets the spot freed up by Bianca Chatfield's retirement after the Glasgow Games.

In picking Adelaide Thunderbirds goal attack Bell, Alexander once again overlooked 2007 world championship player Pettitt, whose smoking season for the Swifts culminated in 422 goals at 88 per cent, including 26 in Sunday's decider.

"It's always a tough decision. Every position is tough," Alexander said.

"Not just the goaling end, but also the centre court end. There's great athletes that have missed out there too - Gabi Simpson is very unlucky.

"And in the defence end as well. Claire McMeniman had a great claim to that position."

Alexander said Bell had the edge not only due to her versatility and ability to shoot long, but also for her resilience and development since narrowly missing out on for the Commonwealth Games squad.

Australia's World Cup squad: Caitlin Bassett, Erin Bell, Rebecca Bulley, Julie Corletto, Laura Geitz (capt), Kimberlee Green, Paige Hadley, Renae Hallinan, Sharni Layton, Natalie Medhurst, Kim Ravaillion, Caitlin Thwaites.

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