The Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA) has named its squad for the netball competition at Glasgow 2014 as they go in search of their first Commonwealth Games gold medal in 12 years.
Australia claimed the inaugural netball gold when they defeated New Zealand in the final at Kuala Lumpur 1998 and retained the title against the same opposition in Manchester four years later.
But the Kiwis have won the gold medal at the past two Games in Melbourne in 2006 and at Delhi 2010, overcoming the Aussies in both finals.
Australia gained some revenge when they secured a second successive world title at the World Championships in Singapore in 2011.
Captain Laura Geitz, Kimberlee Green, Renae Hallinan and Natalie Medhurst were all part of the team that went down to the New Zealanders last time out in New Delhi and they will be making to the trip to Glasgow this summer and no doubt will be determined to stop their neighbours securing a third consecutive gold.
Vice-captain Bianca Chatfield returns to the squad for the first time since Melbourne 2006 and will be joined by seven other players who will be making their Commonwealth Games debuts this summer.
Caitlin Bassett, Julie Corletto, Sharni Layton, Kimberley Ravaillion, Madi Robinson and Caitlin Thwaites will taste the Games experience for the first time while 25-year-old Tegan Caldwell is yet to make her international debut.
"It's been 12 long and painful years since Australia last stood atop the Commonwealth Games podium so we're confident that we've picked a team that will end our golden drought in Glasgow," said Australian netball coach, Lisa Alexander, who was joined at the team announcement in Parliament House, Canberra by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Federal Sports Minister, Peter Dutton.
"It's been an arduous task for the selectors and I to pick a team of 12 athletes to represent Australia; a selection that we've deliberated and debated endlessly to ensure we have the best team to reclaim the gold medal."
The team are due to head to Canberra at the end of June for a training camp before travelling to Manchester for a pre-Games training camp to put the final touches to preparations.
Australia are due open their Glasgow 2014 campaign at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) on July 24 with a match against Wales before taking on fellow Group B opponents England, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and South Africa.
"It's apparent that the team has been selected with very strong leadership experience and the addition of young and skillful players who have shown they are capable of taking the next step," said ACGA chief executive Perry Crosswhite.
"I am confident that they will do very well in Glasgow."
Defending champions New Zealand have been drawn in Group A where they will face Jamaica, Malawi, Northern Ireland, St. Lucia, and hosts Scotland.
The final stages of the netball competition at Glasgow 2014 will take place at the SSE Hydro.
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