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Vitality Superleague 2022: Natalie Haythornthwaite leaves NSW Swifts ahead of Superleague return |  Netball News


Natalie Haythornthwaite, 2018 Commonwealth gold medalist, last performed in the Vitality Superleague in 2018, winning the Grand Final with the Wasps; an announcement on his new team is expected in the coming weeks

Last updated: 09/14/21 10:04 AM

Natalie Haythornthwaite has had a brilliant four years in Australia, but NSW Swifts has announced that she will be leaving the Champions to return to the UK (Photo by Speed ​​Media / Icon Sportswire)

England’s Natalie Haythornthwaite is on her way back to Vitality Superleague after the New South Wales Swifts confirm she will leave the Australian Premiership champions.

The wing attack has enjoyed four stellar years in Australia, playing alongside fellow Commonwealth Games gold medalist Helen Housby after initially signing as an injury substitute in 2018.

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However, after two titles in four years in the world’s main domestic competition – including the Premiership title this year – she opted for a return to the UK after a long time away from her family.

The 28-year-old last played in the Wasps competition where she won two Superleague titles, while she also spent a season with Manchester Thunder and started her career with the Yorkshire Jets.

“When I got the call to become a replacement player in 2018, I never thought I would continue to have the experiences I had with this club,” she said.

“I loved every moment of my time with the Swifts and playing with – and against – so many of the best players in the world in Suncorp Super Netball.

“This year has been very special to win the title under such trying circumstances, and coming home with two winners’ medals is something I didn’t even dare dream of before arriving.

“I want to say a big thank you to all of my teammates and coaches as well as the staff at Swifts and Netball NSW for making me feel so at home.

“I also want to thank the Swifts members and fans for hugging me, as well as many members of the NSW netball community that I was able to meet and engage with during my time in Australia.

“After the last few years, I’m really excited to come home, get married, see my family and play some more netball. But I’m also looking forward to cheering on the late night Swifts at the television.

“I loved the trip but now it’s time to go home.

With news expected in the coming days regarding the opening of the Superleague signing window, the race is on to see who has won the race for Haythornthwaite’s signing – four titles in six years in two of the main domestic competitions of the sport make her one of the most sought after names around.

Vitality Superleague 2022: Natalie Haythornthwaite leaves NSW Swifts ahead of Superleague return |  Netball News

Haythornthwaite (R) will present for England in Australia in October (PA Images)

Wasps, Thunder and new Superleague team Leeds Rhinos could all be on hand to bring back the very experienced Haythornthwaite.

Swifts was quick to pay tribute to the Roses international, who will be part of England’s next series against Australia in early October after resting for the three-game match against New Zealand with the other Australian players of the Roses.

“At the Swifts, we try to instill a culture of good people who make great players and Natalie is one of the best on both counts,” said Swifts head coach Briony Akle.

“She spent a tremendous amount of time away from her fiance and her family under very difficult circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that never changed her professional and team-oriented approach which was extremely appreciated. by everyone at the club.

“We fully understand her decision to return to the UK and she is doing so with two titles under her belt. It is a very welcome return for a very special person.”

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