IT WAS a nervous wait on selection, but Bendigo's Caitlin Thwaites can rest easy.
The Melbourne Vixens star will represent Australia for a second time at the Netball World Championships, after the goal shooter was announced on Thursday in a 12-player Diamonds squad for the July 12-21 tournament in England.
Thwaites' robust Suncorp Super Netball form for the third-placed Vixens assured the 32-year-old retained her spot in a new-look national squad, to be captained by Caitlin Bassett.
The team includes only three players from the triumphant 2015 campaign in Thwaites, Bassett and Paige Hadley, with nine new faces, including Diamonds debutante Sarah Klau, from New South Wales Swifts.
Her inclusion brought a mix of excitement and relief for Thwaites, as players across the league sweated on selection during an intense first five weeks of the SSN season.
"I think you always get those feelings (of nervousness) - you put so much of your heart and soul into what you do and the training, trying to be the best you can," she said.
"The days and hours leading up to that phone call are always quite a nerve-racking thing. But it's also one of the bits that comes part and parcel with elite sport. Things can be hard sometimes and selection moments are certainly some of those hard moments.
"It's always a really big honour and a privilege to be selected for the Samsung Diamonds, it's no different this time around, especially in a marquee year for us.
"The World Cup only comes around every four years, so it's super exciting to be named in the team."
Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander described settling on a final 12 players as a tough process, but was confident she had the right selection mix to turn Commonwealth Games silver into Netball World Cup gold.
"I think we've added a lot more smarts since we've played them (England) last," Alexander said.
"Over the last 12 months we've provided some change-ups to our group and we've just got that ability to be more unpredictable, particularly with our shooting line-ups."
The World Cup only comes around every four years, so it's super exciting to be named in the team.- Caitlin Thwaites
Thwaites said the Commonwealth Games finals loss was something that still burned those associated with the gold medal game.
"I feel we have been able to channel some of those feelings into some motivation and some hard training," she said.
"We've really tried to learn from the experience and be better as a result of it.
"As athletes that is what we are always wanting do you, you never want to be in the situation where you have to learn from a loss, but we have definitely tried to learn us much as we can out of that."
Thwaites is one of three Vixens in the squad, alongside defender Jo Watson and midcourter Liz Watson.
The trio will be aiming to get their club back on the winner's list against Sunshine Coast Lightning in Queensland this Saturday, after suffering a loss to NSW Swifts and draw against West Coast Fever in their last two games.
Thwaites is confident of a reversal in fortunes against the reigning premiers.
"I think this competition is really tight every single week and we have put out less than our best in the last couple of weeks," she said.
"We are really looking forward to getting out there and executing our game plan, but in saying that, Swifts played very well last week.
"We've really been focusing on getting back that (winning) feeling and that good flow that we have in attack."
(The Lightning) have been doing really well too of late ... each week is another hurdle you have to get across as the competition is so tough."
The Diamonds squad: Caitlin Bassett (Giants), April Brandley (Magpies), Kelsey Browne (Magpies), Courtney Bruce (Fever), Paige Hadley (Swifts), Sarah Klau (Swifts), Caitlin Thwaites (Vixens), Gretel Tippett (Firebirds), Jamie-Lee Price (Giants), Liz Watson (Vixens), Jo Weston (Vixens), Steph Wood (Lightning).
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