10 Aug 2017

Diamonds defender out of Quad Series

8:46 am on 10 August 2017

Australian netball coach Lisa Alexander says the sudden withdrawal of star defender Sharni Layton will galvanise the squad ahead of this month's Quad Series.

Te Paea Selby-Rickit shoots over Clare McMeniman and Sharni Layton during the Constellation Cup netball match between the New Zealand Silver Ferns and the Australian Diamonds.

Te Paea Selby-Rickit shoots over Sharni Layton Photo: PhotoSport

The 29-year-old Layton will take a leave of absence from netball after extensive consultation with medical experts and hopes to return in time to defend gold at next year's Commonwealth Games.

Alexander would not reveal the exact nature of Layton's plight, or how it came to light.

"Athletes are finely tuned and it gets to a point where it's hard to do the things she needs to do," the Diamonds' coach said.

"It was multi-factorial, but I can't go into detail ... it was the doctor's call, as it always is with me, and we'll make sure she gets the treatment she needs."

A veteran of 46 Tests since her 2011 debut, Layton has been named in every Diamonds touring team since September 2013, after a shoulder injury had sidelined her from international duties in 2012.

"She's had probably four years full bore; it's a mighty effort," Alexander said.

"Sharni has represented and led our country with her heart on her sleeve, but is in need of a break."

Australia start their Quad Series against England in Brisbane on August 26, before meeting South Africa in Canberra on August 30 and New Zealand in Invercargill on September 3.