TOUGH DECISION: Australian Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander has described the axing of veteran Natalie Medhurst as 'emotional'.
TOUGH DECISION: Australian Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander has described the axing of veteran Natalie Medhurst as 'emotional'. GLENN HUNT

Key veterans miss out on Australian netball selection

NEW mum Laura Geitz and one of the most experienced players in Australian netball are missing while only one player from a Sydney Super Netball club will be wearing the green and gold for the Diamonds in the lead-up to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Australian teams for the upcoming Quad Series and Constellation Cup have been overhauled with the chief casualties veteran shooter Natalie Medhurst, the seventh most capped player in the game with 86 Tests, and NSW Swifts centre courter Paige Hadley.

Hadley has missed out on both teams but has been named in the 18-strong Australian squad, keeping alive her bid to play at the Commonwealth Games next year.

Giants shooter Susan Pettitt, who forced her way back into Australian colours late in 2017 after years on the outer, has been named for the Constellation Cup only, missing the cull for the first-up Quad Series in August and September.

Pettitt, part of the Giants team which finished runner-up to Sunshine Coast Lightning in the inaugural Super Netball league, must run with the opportunity with coach Lisa Alexander blessed with an glut of shooting talent ahead of Australia's bid to defend its Commonwealth Games crown.

Alexander said defender Geitz had yet to indicate whether she wanted to return to the international arena after giving birth to her first child four months ago while admitting the axing of veteran shooter Medhurst has been difficult and "emotional”.

"It was extremely tough. It cuts deep,” Alexander said of Medhurst's omission

"She has been enormous for us. Just wonderful.”

Former Australian and Firebirds Netball captain Laura Geitz (with husband Mark Gilbride and son Barney) is yet to decide on her netball future.
Former Australian and Firebirds Netball captain Laura Geitz (with husband Mark Gilbride and son Barney) is yet to decide on her netball future. DAN PELED

Alexander is only able to select 12 strong teams for both international series

"Numbers wise this is tougher than selecting an Australian cricket team,” she said.

Australia opens its Quad series campaign against England on August 26 in Brisbane.

The annual Constellation Cup series with world No. 2 New Zealand, played on both sides of the Tasman, kicks off on October 5 in Auckland.

While they underachieved in the first season of Super Netball with a fourth-place finish, Collingwood Magpies players dominate the Australian teams with Sharni Layton, Caitlin Thwaites, April Brandley, Kim Ravaillion and Madi Robinson all named for both campaigns.

Melbourne Vixens players Liz Watson and Jo Weston has also been named for both tours.



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