The Australian women’s water polo team will be boosted by the return of captain Bronwen Knox for the FINA World League Finals next month in China.

Dual Olympic bronze medallist Bronwen Knox is set to return as captain of the Australian women’s water polo team for the FINA World League Finals next month in China.

After missing the Aussie Stingers’ gold medal-winning performance at the World League Intercontinental Cup last weekend in California, Knox will be a welcome addition to a team that combines experience and youth.

Joining Knox will be her London Olympic bronze medal-winning teammate Glencora McGhie, who also missed the US cup triumph.

Knox and McGhie have not played since the National Water Polo League finals series in early May. McGhie was a member of the premiership-winning Fremantle Marlins and scored a crucial goal to help her side edge out a 6-5 victory over title favourites, the Brisbane Barracudas.

Retained in the Stingers’ team as a reward for their efforts in the Intercontinental Cup victory are Kelsey Wakefield, Rowie Webster, Ashleigh Southern, Keesja Gofers, Lilian Hedges, Bronte Colenso, Eliesha Browne, Jayde Appel and Jessica Zimmerman.

Also in the side will be FINA World Championships silver medallist Hannah Buckling and young gun, 18-year-old Bronte Halligan, the daughter of rugby league great Daryl Halligan and sister of Ironwoman Devon Halligan, who will make her senior international debut.

The team will first travel to Kunshan in China to begin preparations for the World League Finals, before travelling to Shanghai for the tournament from June 10-15.

Stingers coach Greg McFadden said he was enthusiastic about the team, saying he was still looking to build the Stingers ahead of this year’s biggest tournament, the FINA World Cup.

“The young players learnt a lot while in the USA and performed better with each game and I look forward to them continuing this development. I also think that Bronte Halligan is a very exciting player and I’m looking forward to seeing how she goes with her first international experience.

“We are still looking to build towards the World Cup in August but, more importantly, keeping an eye on who may be the bolter for the Rio Olympics.”

The Stingers will be among the favourites at the World League finals after their California cup win.

The team will leave Australia on Tuesday.