Sunshine Coast Lightning foundation player Steph Wood is in line to play at her second Commonwealth Games after earning selection in the Diamonds squad for this year’s event in Birmingham.

Wood and her Lightning circle partner Cara Koenen were today announced in an 18-strong squad by Australia’s National Coach Stacey Marinkovich.

“From the Lightning’s point of view, every time Cara and Steph have stepped out in green and gold for the Diamonds in the past 12 months we have been extremely proud,” Lightning coach Kylee Byrne said.

“They continue to build on their partnership against some of the world’s best defenders and now that this selection has been cemented, just watch them rise to another level.”

Wood, 30, is one of the craftiest attacking players in the world. Her movement, vision and accuracy make the Lightning captain a threat either at goal attack or as a goal shooter in an even more mobile shooting combination.

Her leadership has been just as valuable to the squad after being named vice captain under Diamonds skipper Liz Watson at the end of 2021.

Wood was a member of the team that won silver at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, coming on as a second-half substitute to score 12 goals at 86 per cent accuracy in the gold medal match.

Townsville-born Koenen is in the mix to make her Games debut alongside Wood in Birmingham.

The 26-year-old made her international debut in the 2021 Constellation Cup series, with her squad selection following a stunning 45-goal haul in the Lightning’s Round 5 win against the Melbourne Vixens.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games team of 12 athletes will be selected from the Diamonds squad. Up to four players may be added to the squad, with Marinkovich declaring positions are still up for grabs.

“Selection definitely hasn’t been an easy task,” Marinkovich said

“We have such a great depth of talent within our system across every position on the court and I congratulate those who have been selected.”

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