13 Oct 2015

Firebirds dominate Australian netball squad

11:58 am on 13 October 2015

The ANZ Championship-winning Queensland Firebirds dominate the Australian netball squad for the Constellation Cup series against New Zealand, which starts next week.

The Australian Diamonds on their way to their recent World Cup defence

The Australian Diamonds on their way to their recent World Cup defence Photo: Photosport

Five Queensland Firebirds players have been named in the 12-player squad for the first two Tests against the Silver Ferns.

Captain Laura Geitz will lead the side alongside team-mates Kim Ravaillion, debutants Gabi Simpson and Gretel Tippett, and Clare McMeniman, who has been recalled to the Diamonds.

Firebirds coach Roselee Jencke will be the first Australian ANZ Championship coach to join the Diamonds in a support coaching role for the New Zealand leg of the Constellation Cup.

Simpson, Tippett and McMeniman will fill the three positions vacated following the retirements of defenders Julie Corletto and Rebecca Bulley, and the international retirement of vice-captain Kim Green, after the World Cup.

Australian netballers Laura Geitz and Julie Corletto.

Australian netballers Laura Geitz and Julie Corletto. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The trio join the nine remaining members of the Diamonds' World Cup-winning team - Geitz, Ravaillion, Caitlin Bassett, Erin Bell, Paige Hadley, Renae Ingles (nee Hallinan), Sharni Layton, Natalie Medhurst and Caitlin Thwaites, along with specialist attack coach Marg Caldow.

"With the first two Tests over in New Zealand, it's important that we make a positive start to establish momentum for the rest of the series in Melbourne and Perth," Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander said.

The Diamonds will head to New Zealand on Saturday morning for the first two Tests in Christchurch (Tuesday October 20th) and Auckland (Thursday October 22nd) with five shooters, four midcourters and three defenders.

The Constellation Cup series will be the first time that the Diamonds have taken the court since defeating the Silver Ferns by three goals to win a third consecutive Netball World Cup title in Sydney in August.

The Silver Ferns squad was named last week.

Australia team - 2015 Constellation Cup, New Zealand leg:

NAME (State of origin/ANZ Championship team)

Caitlin Bassett (WA/West Coast Fever)

Erin Bell (NSW/Adelaide Thunderbirds)

Laura Geitz (QLD/Queensland Firebirds)

Paige Hadley (NSW/NSW Swifts)

Renae Ingles (nee Hallinan) (VIC/Adelaide Thunderbirds)

Sharni Layton (VIC/NSW Swifts)

Clare McMeniman (QLD/Queensland Firebirds)

Natalie Medhurst (SA/West Coast Fever)

Kim Ravaillion (NSW/Queensland Firebirds)

Gabi Simpson (NSW/Queensland Firebirds)

Caitlin Thwaites (VIC/NSW Swifts)

Gretel Tippett (QLD/Queensland Firebirds)

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