Diamond hopes to finish on a high
ONE of Australia's most decorated netballers is hopeful she can finish her international career in style on Sunday after deciding to pull the pin on a 14-year career with the Diamonds.
Caitlin Thwaites will play her final international match against New Zealand in Perth as Australia vies to retain the Constellation Cup in the fourth and final game of the series.
While Thwaites will continue playing domestic netball with Melbourne Vixens next year, her retirement from the international level brings to an end a career which first saw her selected in the Diamonds squad in 2006.
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Thwaites has since played 54 test matches for Australia, scored 1100 goals at 92 per cent accuracy and been part of the team's leadership group for the past two years including a stint as captain in this year's Quad Series.
"It definitely has been a very long time and I've had lots of ups and downs across that period," Thwaites said.
"The last seven or eight years I've consistently been in the team and it's been really amazing to be part of so much of what the Diamonds have done and I'm really proud of what the team's been able to achieve along the way.
"But I feel that the time's right to be stepping away and I'm excited for where the team's at and for the next crop of players to be coming through and getting some experience."
Thwaites won a gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and backed that up with a gold medal at the Netball World Cup the following year in two clear career highlights.
"Obviously the gold medals are the amazing ones and those big benchmark events are the huge ones and standout," Thwaites said.
"That was always the goal, being able to get to Comm Games and World Championships and things like that. I'm just incredibly grateful to have been with the Diamonds for that extended period of time."
The Diamonds need only a one-goal win over the Silver Ferns on Sunday to retain the Constellation Cup, despite currently trailing the series 2-1.
"It's a huge task ahead of us," Thwaites said.
"We want to be able to win the trophy so we've got to get in there and play really hard and win this game."