The Silver Ferns will next month face an Australian team going through a rare period of turmoil.

The usually settled Diamonds programme has been thrown into disarray following their shock 57-47 loss to the Silver Ferns in the Quad Series finale two weeks ago.

That sealed the demotion of Australian vice-captain Madi Robinson, who has been dropped for the four-test series, while several other stars have been put on notice.

In a strongly-worded statement, Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander left no room for interpretation over Robinson's omission.


"We will be working with Madi on the areas of her game requiring improvement and she will continue this work at home base," Alexander said in the press release accompanying the team naming.

Robinson's demotion leaves the Diamonds light on leadership, as new captain Caitlin Bassett finds her feet in the role. The Australian super shooter was elevated to skipper after star defender Sharni Layton was ruled out for the international season. Layton, one of the game's great characters, was granted indefinite leave on the advice of medical staff as she battles exhaustion.

Robinson has been replaced in the Australian line-up by Caitlyn Nevins and Kate Moloney, with Alexander opting to carry a squad of 13 through the series and name their match-day 12 ahead of each test. The other changes from the Quad Series were predetermined, with shooters Susan Pettitt and Steph Wood replacing Gretel Tippett and Tegan Philip.

Silver Ferns coach Janine Southby said the changes to the Australian team won't alter her side's approach.

"I guess they are having a look at certain positions, as we have been. Until you get to Commonwealth Games, it's hard to predict who is going to be there. Whether they feel they needed to make a change because people weren't performing, or have a look a building depth, I'm not sure, but it's interesting," she said.

Southby expects adversity will make the Australians more dangerous in the Constellation Cup, particularly after losing heavily in Invercargill.

"I think they potentially took us too easy going into that game in Invercargill, and I know going forward that won't happen - they will have woken up to that. And from past experience, when you do that to them, they come back with a real roar."