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Japan test as Opals' move on from Cambage

Coach Sandy Brondello and numerous overseas-based Opals will miss the three-match series with Japan. (AAP)

Others can dwell on Liz Cambage but Opals co-captain Cayla Francis said the "move on's already happened" ahead of their home World Cup.

Three games against Olympic silver medallists Japan, beginning Friday, will be the first for Australia since former captain Jenna O'Hea revealed the circumstances around WNBA All-Star Cambage's messy, permanent exit from the program.

O'Hea confirmed claims that Cambage told her Nigerian rivals to "go back to your third world country" in a practice game incident in Las Vegas before the Tokyo Games.

Australia's Olympic campaign was derailed after Cambage withdrew soon after, citing mental health concerns about entering the Olympic bubble.

"Yeah we were definitely pretty tight ... and we haven't spoken since Vegas and that's that," Francis told AAP on Thursday.

"Jenna handled that perfectly, everything she said was everything that needed to be said. She nailed it.

"Our purpose to play isn't to reset the narrative of Tokyo, it's not always going back to Tokyo or about Liz. It's not about that. The media will write whatever, that's not in our control.

"The move-on's already happened, for us it's so far moved forward."

An Australian-based squad missing European and American-based players and WNBA coach Sandy Brondello will suit up for the series, with two games in Sydney on Friday and Sunday and a third in Newcastle on Tuesday.

Francis is keen to ram home the significance of the opportunity ahead of September's World Cup in Sydney.

"I had five years in the squad before I finally got a game (in 2013); it's one of the hardest teams to make but very rewarding when you do," she said.

"Everyone that's here wants to be here; playing for the green and gold is an honour, part of a huge legacy.

"The sisterhood is strong and to play in front of family and friends at an international level, showcase our talents, is huge.

"And (as captain) I want to be hyped for my teammate's successes. It's about having that respect, love for the sisterhood."

Francis wants to bring a hard edge to the Opals' defence against a side they'll face in their pool later this year.

"We go hard; we're a pretty tough team and want to be feared, especially defensively," she said.

"We want to bring what we've got and make sure the fans that come out enjoy it."


Shyla Heal, Jade Melbourne, Stephanie Reid, Rebecca Cole, Maddison Rocci, Tess Madgen, Sara Blicavs, Darcee Garbin, Keely Froling, Lauren Nicholson, Lauren Scherf, Cayla George, Zitina Aokuso. Head Coach: Cheryl Chambers.