New Diamonds coach Stacey Marinkovich has made the unconventional decision to use a captaincy rotation for next month's Constellation Cup to settle on her long term leadership group.
It means Caitlin Bassett's tenure as Diamonds captain could be over, marking the latest blow in a frustrating year for the Test centurion.
A captain will be named by the coaching and selection panel for each of the four matches against the Silver Ferns, in line with International Netball Federation rules.
Marinkovich said she'd talked to the former leadership group, of Bassett, Liz Watson and Gabi Simpson, about the decision to make sure "they were across the journey with us."
Bassett has led the Australian team since August 2017 and remains an option to captain at least one of the matches, despite having limited court time last season.
The 32-year-old shooter played just one full match for the Giants in 2020, prompting a trans-Tasman move to Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic for this year's ANZ Championship.
MORE CANBERRA SPORT
"Absolutely [Bassett will be considered], the leadership named on that day is around the performance [of] our game plan. That's where we want the leadership to come through," Marinkovich said.
"Obviously Caitlin has a huge amount of experience within the team and it's not restricting just because we've changed the process for this series. It's not taking away anybody's availability to be selected in those leadership positions.
"Caitlin is very passionate about the Diamonds and her position within the squad. I know she will continue to bring that passion and strong leadership to the group throughout the entire series - that's the commitment she makes and the type of person she is.
"We still want to see her leadership qualities front and centre."
The approach will be reviewed at the end of the tour, with Netball Australia planning to appoint a new leadership group before their next international series.
Players, coaching staff and Netball Australia will all have an input into this decision, a breakaway from the Diamonds' method under Lisa Alexander to appoint the captain via a team vote at pre-tournament camps.
"At the end of the day, what we're doing is identifying the leadership qualities this squad looks to," Marinkovich said.
"It also provides the person going into that role with absolute clarity as to what the team actually wants from them, and how does the team support the person going into the role at the same time."
The Diamonds are in their third day of a fortnight's quarantine after arriving in Christchurch, with the first Test scheduled for March 3.
Once their next round of COVID-19 tests return clear, the Diamonds will start training at an on-site gym and should have access to a netball court within a couple of days.
Marinkovich said the players came to the pre-embarkation camp in Sydney in tremendous shape and they'll use the quarantine period to do off-court education.
"The camp in Sydney was a huge success," she said.
CONSTELLATION CUP 2021
- First Test - Christchurch Arena, March 2
- Second Test - Christchurch Arena, March 3
- Third Test - Baypark Arena, Tauranga, March 6
- Fourth Test - Baypark Arena, Tauranga, March 7