Australian Diamonds make two changes for Constellation Cup series

Firebirds' shooter Gretel Tippett will be looking to add to her six test caps in next month's Constellation Cup series. Photo/PHOTOSPORT
Firebirds' shooter Gretel Tippett will be looking to add to her six test caps in next month's Constellation Cup series. Photo/PHOTOSPORT

The Australian Diamonds have made changes to each end of the court for next month's Constellation Cup series against the Silver Ferns.

Jo Weston and Gretel Tippett have been added to the 12-strong Australian line-up, replacing Quad Series debutants Kristiana Manu'a and Stephanie Wood.

Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander indicated earlier this season she planned to mix up her line-ups for the two series' in an effort to rebuild the depth in her squad. One of the expected changes for this Constellation Cup has not eventuated however, with Australian captain Laura Geitz, who was "rested" for the Quad Series announcing over the weekend she is expecting her first child and will be unavailable for the rest of the season.

"We were pleased with our team's recent performance at the Netball Quad Series and wish to give them more court time together to continue to strengthen their connections," said Alexander.

"Jo (Weston) and Gretel (Tippett) will provide different options for us. Both had strong ANZ Championship seasons and have impressed selectors with their training during our Quad Series Pre-Departure Camp. They will blend seamlessly into the team.

"After facing the Silver Ferns in the Quad Series, we know we will be challenged in the Constellation Cup. Nothing less than our best will be acceptable in order to retain the Cup. There's no better sporting rivalry than Australia and New Zealand."

Clare McMeniman will continue as acting captain, with Sharni Layton and Caitlin Bassett to maintain their roles as acting vice-captains for the Series.

Australian Diamonds 2016 Constellation Cup team:
Caitlin Bassett, April Brandley, Sharni Layton, Clare McMeniman, Natalie Medhurst, Kim Ravaillion, Madi Robinson, Gabi Simpson, Caitlin Thwaites, Gretel Tippett, Liz Watson, Jo Weston

- NZ Herald

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