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Netball - 08. June 2011.

Diamonds focused on World Championships not revenge in first Test

New World Netball Series - 1st Test
New Zealand Silver Ferns v Australian Diamonds
Arena Manawatu, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Thursday, 9 June 2011, 7:40pm (local time), 5:40pm (AEST)
Broadcast: Channel TEN 11:00pm

The Australian Diamonds will be lining up against the New Zealand Silver
Ferns for the first time since their defeat in the 2010 Commonwealth
Games' gold medal final but revenge couldn't be further from their
minds.

With less than a month until the 2011 World Netball Championships, the
Diamonds are firmly focused on the future, undeterred by the 66-64
double extra time loss in New Delhi in October last year.

"Obviously a lot has changed since (the 2010 Commonwealth Games),"
Diamonds shooter Natalie Medhurst said ahead of the first Test on
Thursday.

"It was a massive game for us to lose and by such a small margin, but
it's so exciting now to be moving forward with the World Championship
coming up.

"We've got such a different team to work with and try different
combination out there on court, so as bad as the Commonwealth Games
experience was, we certainly have to get over that and move forward and
start out preparation for World Championships starting tomorrow."

The new look Diamonds team sees only seven players return from the
Commonwealth Games campaign after coach Norma Plummer took the
opportunity to select fresh faces following injuries to stalwarts
Sharelle McMahon and Lauren Nourse.

With three uncapped players in the Diamonds side in Erin Bell, Sharni
Layton and Chelsea Pitman, the two-Test series against the Silver Ferns
provides the perfect opportunity to fine tune the team ahead of
Singapore.

"We've already shown in these few days we've had together that everyone
is combining really well and the players we've got provide a lot of
different combinations and different styles of play for the coaches to
fall back on," Medhurst said.

Lead by Natalie von Bertouch, her first Test as captain after being
appointed in April, the Diamonds will be looking to claim their 60th
Test victory over the Silver Ferns.

Honours are split between the Diamonds and Silver Ferns in the two
previous Test matches held in the North Island city of Palmerston North
with Australia winning the first meeting 47-44 on May 21 1994, followed
by New Zealand winning 52-50, on July 2 2004.

While there may not be a Commonwealth Games gold medal or World
Championship silverware on the line on this occasion, there's still
plenty to play for, with the two sides playing for the Constellation
Cup.

The two New Zealand Test matches are a start of series of five match
series to be played between the traditional rivals in 2011, excluding
any World Championship encounters, with the aggregate winner to be
awarded the stunning Constellation Cup, launched last year and claimed
by the Diamonds.

The Diamonds and Silver Ferns Test will be preceded by the second Test
between the Australia 21/U and New Zealand 21/U as a curtain raiser.

Click here for live scores
<http://silverferns.championdata.com/match_centre/matches/80230101/index
.html> .

Australia Diamonds Team:
Natalie von Bertouch (Adelaide Thunderbirds), Catherine Cox (NSW
Swifts), Caitlin Bassett (West Coast Fever), Chelsea Pitman (Queensland
Firebirds), Erin Bell (Adelaide Thunderbirds), Julie Corletto (Melbourne
Vixens), Kimberlee Green (NSW Swifts), Laura Geitz (Queensland
Firebirds), Mo'onia Gerrard (NSW Swifts), Natalie Medhurst (Queensland
Firebirds), Sharni Layton (Adelaide Thunderbirds), Susan Fuhrmann (West
Coast Fever)

Upcoming Diamonds International Fixtures:
Tour of New Zealand
9 June                  New Zealand v Diamonds            Arena
Manawatu, Palmerston North (7:40pm)
12 June                New Zealand v Diamonds            Vector Arena,
Auckland (7:40pm)

2011 World Netball Championships, Singapore Indoor Sports Centre,
Singapore
4 July                    Australian Diamonds v Samoa
1:15pm
5 July                    Australian Diamonds v Northern Ireland
5:45pm
6 July                    Australian Diamonds v Sri Lanka
8:00pm
*All Times above are local
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