GIANTS Netball shooter Kiera Austin has been named to the Samsung Australian Diamonds team, just a week after being elevated to the squad from her role as training partner. If she takes to the court during the remainder of the Northern Quad Series, Austin will become Diamond #177.
The move comes after an injury to Diamonds vice-captain Gabi Simpson. Simpson has been ruled out of the remaining two matches of the Quad Series after sustaining a minor injury to her upper leg during a practice match. Austin has been named in the team as her replacement.
This is the second injury the Diamonds have faced recently, with new GIANTS Netball shooter and Diamonds captain Caitlin Bassett sustaining a minor fracture to her forearm last week. Like Bassett, Simpson will remain involved with Diamonds team in an off-court leadership capacity for the remainder of the tour, sitting on the team’s secondary bench.
“It is very unfortunate that Gabi has been ruled out of this series, but we’re grateful it’s only a minor injury and that, like Caitlin (Bassett), she’ll be back on the court training with her Suncorp Super Netball team within weeks.
“However, we push forward, and this situation will provide a great opportunity for not only Kiera who may debut for the Diamonds this weekend, but for the rest of the team to step up in their respective roles and to lead from the front.
“We’re building our momentum towards the Vitality Netball World Cup in July and this provides a tremendous opportunity for our athletes to demonstrate why they should be in that team,” said Diamonds Head Coach Lisa Alexander in a statement released by Netball Australia.
The Samsung Diamonds take on the New Zealand Silver Ferns at 3:30am (AEDST) on Sunday 20 January and the England Roses at 5.00am (AEDST) on Monday 21 January. Both matches can be watched live on 9Gem and the Netball Live app.
Release: Netball Australia