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.
Simpson 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.
Fans are shocked by Simpson's omission, especially as she's recently come into form in the Suncorp Super Netball competition following a groin injury.
Despite this, her Firebirds side are winless and last on the Super Netball ladder, while Price’s versatility in being able to offer the centre position as well as wing defence, 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.
“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.
All of the World Cup games will be shown live on Sky Sports, and the BBC will also show every game free-to-air from day four onwards with Netball Nation pundit Sara Bayman making up part of the commentary team.
By Kate Lightfoot