By James Crook

147339827May 30 - Australia women's team will take part in a training camp at Basketball Australia's National Centre of Excellence in Canberra next week under new head coach Brendan Joyce as players look to secure a place in the squad for their tour of China and the 2013 Universiade in Kazan.

The 34-member squad will aim to impress Joyce and earn a spot in the Australian Opals team for the upcoming tournaments in the six-day training camp which is due to get underway on Sunday (June 2), with confirmed teams for both events expected to be revealed over the course of the week.

Joyce has said that now is the time for his young players to step up to the mark with five of their senior players unavailable for the tour of China, which begins later this month, due to commitments with their respective Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) sides.

"It's the first opportunity for us to identify potential Opals and from this camp we will select a team to go to China, which means these younger girls are going to have the experience of playing international basketball at a senior level," Joyce said.

"A lot of our senior players won't be going to China so this camp is a real opportunity for these younger emerging players to show us what they've got to offer."

The former Ballarat Miners championship coach, who was appointed into his new role as head coach of the Opals just three weeks ago, is keen to get a strong foundation and develop a strong sense of team unity before embarking on his opening challenges in China and Russia with the team.

151817294The 6ft 5in forward Lauren Jackson (right) is among those attending the training camp

"We're going to have a team session right off the bat - before we even step onto the court," Joyce said.

"We have to get that right and all be on the same page from a team point of view and, obviously, establish the plan for how we are going to work together as a team.

"To me, that is the most important point of the camp."

London 2012 Opening Ceremony flagbearer Lauren Jackson heads the squad, along with fellow Olympians Kristi Harrower and Belinda Snell.

The Opals are due tour China from June 16 until 24, before moving on to the Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia, from July 6 to 17.

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