Glimmer of Cup hope for Simpson
THE door remains ajar for Diamonds stalwart Gabi Simpson to reclaim her position in the first-choice line-up after being handed a lifeline as a reserve for Australia's World Cup squad.
Simpson was a shock omission from the first-choice Diamonds line-up for next month's tournament in Liverpool given that she had been Australian vice-captain since 2017 and had played 40 Tests since 2015.
Simpson, along with Melbourne Vixens trio Kate Moloney, Emily Mannix and Tegan Philip, have been handed the consolation prize of taking part in Australia's training camp in Sydney from June 24-28.
They will also travel to England for the Diamonds' pre-tournament camp, with the squad to be based in Manchester.
If any of the Diamonds players are injured during the two camps, one of the reserves can be elevated into the World Cup squad.
Once the tournament begins on July 12 though, teams cannot replace any injured players.
Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander said the quartet would play an important role in the preparation of the national team for the World Cup tournament.
"Gabi, Kate, Emily and Tegan are all members of our squad and having them join us in Sydney and Manchester is going to be of great benefit to our team,'' Alexander said.
"Having athletes of their calibre involved will immensely enhance our training and match-play environments and overall preparations for the World Cup.
"We also know that injuries can happen very unexpectedly.
"So to have Gabi, Kate, Emily and Tegan with us in Manchester up until when the tournament begins is critical to ensuring we are adequately prepared for any scenario.''
The Super Netball competition will take a break for a month after this weekend's Round 9 matches due to the World Cup.
The Queensland Firebirds and Sunshine Coast Lightning will resume their campaigns on Saturday, July 27 when they meet in a "Battle of the Bruce" at the Queensland State Netball Centre.