Netball Diamonds missing Sharni Layton
SHARPSHOOTER Caitlin Bassett will lead Australia into battle at the Commonwealth Games with veteran Susan Pettitt and former captain Laura Geitz also making the cut but Sharni Layton missing from the team bidding to defend their crown on the Gold Coast.
Giants shooter Pettitt and Bassett are two of four shooters in the Commonwealth Games 12 with Caitlin Thwaites and Steph Woods also in the side.
New mum Geitz, who hasn't played for Australia since 2016 and missed last year's Super Netball campaign to have her first child, is also in the side.
But missing is defender Layton who has been on an extended break from the sport with exhaustion.
"It was an enormously difficult selection, there's no other way to say it," said coach Lisa Alexander.
"What we have done is try to pick a team on form, on who is performing now. It's been tough, as we have had so many great performers for us.
"What made the decision that much more complex is that we've also had to consider the 'what ifs' that you must be prepared for in a tournament.
"We needed to ensure that we had flexibility within the team, through different combinations and the ability for athletes to play multiple positions if required."
Australia go into the Commonwealth Games as the top ranked team in the world.
They are also the defending champions after beating New Zealand at the last games in Glasgow.
The Diamonds are favourites to win the event on the Gold Coast after their recent cleansweep of the international Quad series in the UK and South Africa.
Australia beat England and South African by four goals in their series match-ups but smashed New Zealand by 19 goals.
The Australian netball team heads Pool A at the Games with Jamaica, South Africa, Barbados, Fiji and Northern Ireland also in the same group.
Pool B will see matches between New Zealand, England, Malawi, Wales, Scotland and Uganda.
THE AUSTRALIAN NETBALL TEAM FOR THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES
• Caitlin Bassett (captain) - 76 caps (Western Australia, Sunshine Coast Lightning)
• April Brandley - 21 caps (New South Wales, Collingwood Magpies)
• Courtney Bruce -10 caps (Western Australia, West Coast Fever)
• Laura Geitz - 64 caps (Queensland, Queensland Firebirds)
• Susan Pettitt - 64 caps (New South Wales, GIANTS Netball)
• Kim Ravaillion - 50 caps (New South Wales, Collingwood Magpies)
• Madi Robinson - 54 caps (Victoria, Collingwood Magpies)
• Gabi Simpson (vice-captain) - 25 caps (New South Wales, Queensland Firebirds)
• Caitlin Thwaites - 34 caps (Victoria, Collingwood Magpies)
• Liz Watson - 15 caps (Victoria, Melbourne Vixens)
• Jo Weston - 10 caps (Victoria, Melbourne Vixens)
• Stephanie Wood - 8 caps (Queensland, Sunshine Coast Lightning)