BENDIGO'S Caitlin Thwaites strong start to the Suncorp Super netball season has been rewarded with selection in the Australian Diamonds team for the 2019 World Cup.
Thwaites is one of 12 players, who will travel to Liverpool for the Cup event, which will run from July 12 to 21.
The long-time Diamond is joined in the team by her Vixens team-mates Liz Watson, who has been named vice-captain, and Jo Weston.
Thwaites is one only three players remaining from the victorious 2015 World Cup-winning team, alongside Caitlin Bassett, who will serve as the Diamonds' captain, and Paige Hadley.
The star Bendigo-born goal shooter is enjoying a wonderful start to the season with the third-placed Vixens (three wins, one loss, one draw), her first in the green, crimson and navy colours since 2010.
Thwaites made her Diamonds debut in the 2012 Quad Series and has been a regular at international level ever since. She won gold medals at the 2015 World Cup and 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Three of the squad - Collingwood Magpies' April Brandley and Kelsey Browne and West Coast Fever's Courtney Bruce - were participants in last weekend's SSN round five clash played at Bendigo Stadium.
Samsung Diamonds head coach Lisa Alexander said this selection process was one of the most comprehensive she has been involved in.
"We couldn't be more thrilled with the final team that has been selected to compete in Liverpool," she said.
"It's been a difficult process due to the depth of talent and experience within our Diamonds squad. However, it's our job to select the team that will successfully compete on the international stage, with consideration for the back-to-back nature and varying games styles within a tournament.
"Some athletes are very unfortunate to miss out on being selected, they've done all the right things and we have had some very tough decisions to make - we really feel for those athletes.
"In saying this, we're delighted for the athletes who have been selected, it's such great recognition for all their hard work and dedication, we are excited to be taking this team to Liverpool to represent our country."
The Diamonds team is: Caitlin Bassett (Giants), April Brandley (Collingwood Magpies), Kelsey Browne (Collingwood Magpies), Courtney Bruce (West Coast Fever), Paige Hadley), Sarah Klau (NSW Swifts), Jamie-Lee Price (Giants), Caitlin Thwaites (Melbourne Vixens), Gretel Tippett (Queensland Firebirds), Liz Watson (Melbourne Vixens), Jo Weston (Melbourne Vixens), Steph Wood (Sunshine Coast Lightning).
The team will next meet in Sydney on JUne 24 for a five-day training camp, before they depart for England on July 3.
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