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Netball - 06. October 2011.

Diamonds sidelined for opening Test of 2011 Holden Netball Test Series

The Australian Diamonds have been dealt a blow on the eve of the 2011
Holden Netball Test Series with captain Natalie von Bertouch and Mo'onia
Gerrard unavailable for selection ahead of the opening Test against
England on Sunday.

Von Bertouch is sidelined with a stress reaction in her sesamoid bone in
her right foot and will miss at least the first Test while Gerrard is
suffering from a calf strain which will likely see her sidelined for the
three-Test series against England.

"We need to follow what our medical staff recommended, so if they say
that they need to be out for any length of time then that's what we do,"
Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander said.

"Natalie and Mo'onia will stay in camp with us to get the treatment they
need and also to manage their load.

"It's not looking likely that Mo'onia will take part in the English
section of the series but we're certainly making sure that we'll do
everything possible to get her on the court and be ready to play that
first Test against New Zealand in Perth.

The Diamonds medical staff made the decision following the team's first
training session in Newcastle to rest the two members of the leadership
group with monitoring and assessment to continue on a daily basis.

"Injuries are what challenges a group and new leaders have to step up in
the group," Alexander said.

"As I said to the girls from the start from when I took over the team,
we're all leaders in our respective fields, we're all leaders on the
court, at this level we're expected to stand up and make decisions on
the court because I can't get out there and do it for them."

"I think when you give people responsibility they generally step up to
the plate and that's why these players have been chosen by the selectors
because they are prepared to step up to that next level of performance,
whether it's on court or in leadership."

Madison Browne and Rebecca Bulley have been drafted into the Diamonds
team to cover for the injured von Bertouch and Gerrard respectively.

"Both Rebecca and Madison showed at squad camp that they're very close
to selection and that's why they were rewarded with being named as
emergencies for this tour."

"They were terrific in the team camp, trained well, great attitude and
showed the ability to be flexible and adaptable in this environment
which is what we have to have."

The Australian Diamonds take on England in the first of three Tests in
the 2011 Holden Netball Test Series on Sunday at the Newcastle
Entertainment Centre which can be seen live on Channel Ten and streaming
online through Telstra BigPond Sport.

2011 Holden Netball Test Series Dates:
9 Oct - Australian Diamonds v England, Newcastle Entertainment Centre,
12 Oct - Australian Diamonds v England, AIS Arena, Canberra
16 Oct - Australian Diamonds v England, Allphones Arena, Sydney
23 Oct - Australian Diamonds v New Zealand Silver Ferns, Burswood Dome,
26 Oct - Australian Diamonds v New Zealand Silver Ferns, Adelaide
Entertainment Centre, Adelaide
30 Oct - Australian Diamonds v New Zealand Silver Ferns, Hisense Arena,
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