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Winning comes first for hurting Diamonds

AAP logoAAP 9/10/2019 Melissa Woods

There are four new players in the Australian squad with Ash Brazill and Tegan Phillip joined by possible debutantes Maddy Turner and Laura Scherian. © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images There are four new players in the Australian squad with Ash Brazill and Tegan Phillip joined by possible debutantes Maddy Turner and Laura Scherian. Still stinging from the World Cup loss, Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander has made it clear the Constellation Cup netball series against New Zealand is not about blooding players for the future.

The Diamonds lost their world title to the Silver Ferns in July, having lost Commonwealth Games champion status to England last year.

Australia have only lost one Constellation Cup series since its inception in 2010, holding it for the last six years, and Alexander says they won't be giving it up without a mighty fight.

There are four new players in the Australian squad with Ash Brazill and Tegan Phillip joined by possible debutantes Maddy Turner and Laura Scherian.

But Alexander said she couldn't promise all squad members would get a run over the four-game series, which starts in Christchurch on Sunday.

"I've made it clear to the group that this is not a school tournament and in many respects we're not blooding for the future either because this is the end of the cycle," Alexander told AAP.

"We want to win all four games and if that means the same seven players on the court for all four Tests I'm not making any apologies for that."

Alexander said the team would be motivated by the one-point World Cup final defeat in Liverpool.

"The pain felt from the loss will always filter through; it's what we do with it and how we process that counts," she said.

"I've reminded the players that we can use that to help drive us for this next cycle and this competition now is to get back on top and win."

The Silver Ferns have drafted in Collingwood's general manager of women's sport Jane Woodlands-Thompson, who also coached the Adelaide Thunderbirds to two ANZ Championship titles, as an assistant coach.

The "intriguing" appointment didn't appear to sit well with Alexander.

"I found it surprising because of her job at Collingwood, I didn't think she'd have time to do this as well," she said.

"All the best to Jane but she will be considered to be a Kiwi now."

One player Woodlands-Thompson will have insight into is Brazill, who returns to the Diamonds fold after a three-year absence.

Brazill, 29, also plays in the AFLW competition for the Magpies.

"It's fantastic to have her back," Alexander said of Brazill.

"Just her input, she's such a mature athlete now and she really wants it and is fully invested in the sister-in-arms culture that we've created."

Alexander said Brazill had been picked as a wing defence but offered the line-up versatility.

"We know she can play centre and play it in a unique way, like she has with the Magpies, so we've got that up our sleeve."

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