Liz Watson humbled by nod as Diamonds captain

Liz Watson during the Quad Series against England Tony Feder/Getty Images

Liz Watson has been announced as the Diamonds' 25th national captain with Steph Wood confirmed as the Australian netball team's vice-captain.

Watson, who hasn't played since March after foot surgery, is considered one of the premier mid-courters in the game while Wood is a key member of the team's attack.

The duo were voted into the leadership positions by their teammates and a selection committee comprised of Diamonds coach Stacey Marinkovich, Netball Australia CEO Kelly Ryan and former national captain Liz Ellis.

The news comes after a long process which began last year when Marinkovich, who took over from long-time coach Lisa Alexander, expressed her desire to share the captaincy responsibility around in order to find the next natural leader of the group under her tenure.

That meant incumbent Caitlin Bassett - who had been in the role since 2017 - led the team for the first Constellation Cup match against the Silver Ferns this year before Watson took over for the remaining three.

After trialling several captains in the Constellation Cup series against New Zealand in March, a sole leader has now been chosen.

"I am very humbled and proud to be acknowledged by my teammates...," Watson, who made her international debut in 2016, said.

"This squad is so special and there will be many learnings, opportunities and memories that will last a lifetime.

"So many people have been a part of my journey and I am proud that they will be smiling seeing this announcement today."

The 27-year-old Watson has been described by her teammates as a calm and controlled leader who empowers them both on and off the court.

Wood, 29, admitted she was surprised by her selection.

"It is an honour to be named as vice-captain," she said.

"It was a shock when Stacey (Marinkovich) told me, but I am very excited to see what this group can do as we build towards the 2022 Commonwealth Games and the 2023 Netball World Cup."

The Diamonds assembled on the Sunshine Coast this week to prepare for their upcoming Test series against England - although Watson will be an onlooker as she continues her injury recuperation.

"Liz is an incredible person, player and leader and we are thrilled that she will captain the Origin Australian Diamonds," Marinkovich said.

"Steph is an ultimate team player and her leadership reflects the type of person she is - she is highly respected and leads by example on the court."