Diamonds make two changes to team for Australian Tests

The Australian Diamonds have made two changes to the team for the remaining two Tests of the Constellation Cup, with captain Laura Geitz and Gabi Simpson making way for the uncapped duo of Ashleigh Brazill and Jo Weston.

Former NSW representative Brazill and Victorian Weston will join their Diamonds teammates, including NSW Swifts Paige Hadley, Sharni Layton and Caitlin Thwaites, as well as fellow NSW athlete April Letton, in Melbourne today, Friday 23 October, when the team returns home with a 2-0 series lead over New Zealand Silver Ferns following victories in Christchurch and Auckland.

Read the match reports of: Game 1 and Game 2

“Player management is really important to ensure the performance and longevity of our athletes aren’t compromised as we move into a new high performance cycle ahead of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool,” Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander said.

“After such a big year on and off the court, the national selectors and I are mindful of our athletes’ physical and mental wellbeing, particularly those who contested the 2015 ANZ Championship Grand Final and Netball World Cup.

West Coast Fever’s Brazill is a step closer to making her long awaited international debut three years after injury forced the 25-year-old to withdraw from the Diamonds team ahead of the 2012 Test Series.

Melbourne Vixens defender Weston will be reunited with her Australian 21/U teammates Hadley, Kim Ravaillion and Gretel Tippett, who won silver at the 2013 World Youth Netball Championship in Glasgow.

Renae Ingles, who missed the second Test with a calf strain, will assume the role of acting captain for the remainder of the Constellation Cup series subject to passing a fitness test ahead of game three this Sunday 25 October.

2015 Constellation Cup coverage continues from midday AEST this Sunday on FOX SPORTS, ONE HD and the Netball Live App, when the Australian Diamonds host New Zealand Silver Ferns at Hisense Arena before the series concludes with the fourth Test at Perth Arena on Friday 30 October (broadcast begins 9:30pm AEST).

Australian Diamonds for 2015 Constellation Cup – Australia Leg:
NAME (state of origin/ANZ Championship team)

Caitlin Bassett (WA/West Coast Fever)
Erin Bell (NSW/Adelaide Thunderbirds)
Ashleigh Brazill (NSW/West Coast Fever)
Paige Hadley (NSW/NSW Swifts)
Renae Ingles (nee Hallinan) (VIC/Adelaide Thunderbirds)*
Sharni Layton (VIC/NSW Swifts)
April Letton (NSW/West Coast Fever)
Clare McMeniman (QLD/Queensland Firebirds)
Natalie Medhurst (SA/West Coast Fever)
Kim Ravaillion (NSW/Queensland Firebirds)
Caitlin Thwaites (VIC/NSW Swifts)
Gretel Tippett (QLD/Queensland Firebirds)
Jo Weston (VIC/Melbourne Vixens)

*selection is subject to fitness