Diamonds vice-captain Gabi Simpson is understood to have been left out of the World Cup squad. Picture: Getty Images
Diamonds vice-captain Gabi Simpson is understood to have been left out of the World Cup squad. Picture: Getty Images

Mainstay dumped for Diamonds World Cup quest

Former Diamonds vice-captain Gabi Simpson is the shock omission from the Australia's Diamonds squad named for the Netball World Cup in Liverpool from July 12-21.

The 12-player squad was announced during a weather break on the Today show on Thursday morning and Simpson is the major casualty.

She had been a mainstay of the Diamonds since late 2015 and was in the team's leadership group for the past two years.

The wing defence was most recently vice-captain at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Quad Series but has lost her place to Jamie-Lee Price - the daughter of former Test and Origin prop Steve Price.

Collingwood’s Kim Ravaillion is believed to have missed out on a spot in the Diamonds’ squad. Picture: AAP
Collingwood’s Kim Ravaillion is believed to have missed out on a spot in the Diamonds’ squad. Picture: AAP

Simpson has been battling a groin injury and her Firebirds are winless and last on the Super Netball ladder while Price's versatility also gave her an edge at the selection table.

Diamonds head coach Lisa Alexander said this selection process was one of the most comprehensive she has been involved in.

"We couldn't be more thrilled with the final team that has been selected to compete in Liverpool," Alexander said.

"It's been a difficult process due to the depth of talent and experience within our Diamonds squad. However, it's our job to select the team that will successfully compete on the international stage, with consideration for the back-to-back nature and varying games styles within a tournament.

"Some athletes are very unfortunate to miss out on being selected, they've done all the right things and we have had some very tough decisions to make - we really feel for those athletes.

 

Sydney Swifts centre Paige Hadley could be a surprise inclusion after missing the Commonwealth Games. Picture: AAP
Sydney Swifts centre Paige Hadley could be a surprise inclusion after missing the Commonwealth Games. Picture: AAP

 

"In saying this, we're delighted for the athletes who have been selected, it's such great recognition for all their hard work and dedication, we are excited to be taking this team to Liverpool to represent our country."

Caitlin Bassett will remain as captain while Liz Watson will be vice-captain.

It is the first World Cup for nine players with Bassett, Thwaites and Hadley the only survivors from Australia's victorious 2015 World Cup team.

Four players will be named as training partners in the coming weeks and they will attend the Diamonds training camps in Sydney and Manchester, leading into the Netball World Cup.

The team will next meet in Sydney on Monday, June 24 for a five-day training camp, before they depart for England on Wednesday, July 3.

 

The Diamonds World Cup squad:

 

Caitlin Bassett (captain) - GIANTS Netball (West Australia)

April Brandley - Collingwood Magpies (New South Wales)

Kelsey Browne - Collingwood Magpies (Victoria)

Courtney Bruce - West Coast Fever (West Australia)

Paige Hadley - NSW Swifts (New South Wales)

Sarah Klau - NSW Swifts (South Australia)

Jamie-Lee Price - GIANTS Netball (New South Wales)

Caitlin Thwaites - Melbourne Vixens (Victoria)

Gretel Tippett - Queensland Firebirds (Queensland)

Liz Watson (vice-captain) - Melbourne Vixens (Victoria)

Jo Weston - Melbourne Vixens (Victoria)

Steph Wood - Sunshine Coast Lightning (Queensland)

News Corp Australia


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