The Diamonds defensive stocks for the upcoming international tour have been bolstered with the return of veterans Bianca Chatfield and Mo’onia Gerrard.
Both Gerrard and Chatfield were ruled out of the five match trans-Tasman Test Series due to injury but will make their return to the court for the World Netball Series (WNS) in Manchester.
Defenders Julie Corletto and Amy Steel have made room for the incoming duo with Corletto
withdrawing due to injury and Steel being omitted from the travelling squad.
With 64 Test caps between Gerrard and Chatfield, Diamonds coach Norma Plummer is thrilled with the pair’s return which will add experience to her young backline.
“It is disappointing Julie Corletto couldn’t tour due to knee surgery but we are delighted to have back some senior players that have also been out with injury,” Plummer said.
“Chatfield and Gerrard will add experience … a lot of experience.
“They are two of the players that have been in the team with me since 2004 and Bianca was in the team before that. They both know what an international is all about.”
From October 9-11 the Diamonds will compete in the WNS followed by Test matches against England and Jamaica. Plummer is excited to tackle the new form of the game in Manchester which includes rolling substitutions, shorter quarters, shooting from outside the goal circle and power plays.
“I will definitely be interested see how the new concept goes,” Plummer said.
“No team will be able to build into the game. You’ll have to get straight into it.
“Six minutes and the quarters are over so it’ll change our whole approach to warm up and how we attack this whole new format.”
Defender Rebecca Bulley has also been included in the squad to travel to England and Jamaica.
The Diamonds depart for Manchester from Sydney on Saturday.
14-player travelling squad
Sharelle McMahon (Captain)
Natalie von Bertouch (Vice Captain)
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images