Rookie defence push case for Comm Games

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A visit to training from retired Diamonds players Julie Corletto and Renae Ingles may have simultaneously inspired Australia's rookie defenders and kept stars Laura Geitz and Sharni Layton out of the Commonwealth Games.

The squad to play on the Gold Coast in April will be announced on Monday and coach Lisa Alexander is toying with the idea of leaving both former captains out of the side as the reigning world champions chase their fourth title in the six Games.

Layton was a shock last-minute withdrawal from Australia's quad series team last August, with the defender's 46-cap career put on hold due to exhaustion.

Geitz hasn't played for Australia since 2016 and missed last year's Super Netball campaign to have her first child.

The absence of the experienced duo were immediately felt in a 57-47 loss to New Zealand that cost Australia the 2017 quad series title.

It prompted Alexander to call on Corletto and Ingles, who won gold alongside Geitz and Layton in Glasgow, to instil some defensive toughness and sharpness in transition.

Australia have won seven straight games since then, with Courtney Bruce, Emily Mannix, April Brandley and Jo Weston all impressing in a 4-0 Constellation Cup sweep of the Kiwis and recent 3-0 run through the quad series in England and South Africa.

A 67-48 defeat of New Zealand in their most recent clash marked a 29-point turnaround for the new-look side.

"It did (make a difference); I just knew their wisdom would resonate with the girls," Alexander said of Ingles and Corletto.

"I sent them a message during the (January) quad series and said 'did you see that' and they said it was 'even better than they could have imagined'."

Geitz and Layton trained well in a camp before the side's last tour in January to be among 19 players vying for 12 positions.

The progression of Australia's revamped defence and the knowledge that netball is always changing has Alexander admitting it would be a risky move by her and fellow long-time selectors Michelle Wilkins and Annie Sargeant to look past the incumbents.

Stephanie Wood and Susan Pettitt appear to be in the box seat to join Caitlin Thwaites and Caitlin Bassett as Australia's attacking weapons, while Gabi Simpson, Kim Ravaillion and Liz Watson have built strong cases for retention in the engine room.

Australia will play five pool games - against Jamaica, South Africa, Barbados, Fiji and Northern Ireland - across the first seven days of competition before finals, with Alexander highly unlikely to use the same starting seven.

"Im lucky in that we don't have a top seven; we've used a number of combinations (successfully) and the girls are used to that," Alexander said.