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Netball - 01. July 2016.

Global News From Around The World by Rona Hunnisett

Forget Brexit, there were other celebrations and controversy makingá
headlines this week in the UK, with the announcement of the franchisesá
which have been successful in bidding for a place in the UK's Netballá
Superleague for the next four years.á Premiership rugby union side Waspsá
will make history by expanding into female performance sport with itsá
franchise, based near Coventry.á At the helm of the new squad will beá
director of netball Tamsin Greenway, who is leaving Surrey Storm afterá
seven years in charge.á Wasps will be joined in the new look league byá
Severn Stars, a side based at the University of Gloucestershire, andá
Scottish Sirens, based in Glasgow.

However, there was disappointment for Yorkshire Jets, after the decisioná
not to award the franchise to the side, based in the UK's largestá
county, was leaked on social media ahead of the official announcement.áá
The Jets franchise, which ended the 2015 season in fourth place, wasá
deemed unable to evidence a major investor to help make the transitioná
that England Netball requires of the franchises moving forwards. Iná
addition, a condition for the 2017 season was staging games in venuesá
which seat 1,500 people, something which cannot be delivered by theá
infrastructure in Yorkshire at present.

The successful development pathways created by Jets were obvious asá
England Netball's World Class training programme got under way atá
Loughborough University.á Jet's Jess Shaw is among ten players who haveá
signed full time player contracts ahead of the training camp which willá
prepare England's side for the inaugural Quad Series, to be held iná
Australia and New Zealand in August.á England players currently takingá
part in the ANZ Championships are in discussions regarding link ups withá
the camp later this summer, and screening and trials will be held iná
July for any players outside the fulltime agreement who wish to beá
considered for selection.á In addition to Shaw, those taking up theá
agreements are:á Rebekah Airey, Summer Artman, Ella Clark, Beth Cobden,á
Sasha Corbin, George Fisher, Hannah Joseph, Leah Kennedy, Natalieá
Panagarry, Jess Shaw

Another link between rugby and netball was cemented this week in theá
Southern Hemisphere, as former Crusaders' lock forward Steve Lancasterá
took over the reins of Netball New Zealand, while the organisationá
continues its search for a new chief executive, to replace Hilary Poole,á
who left NNZ after three years.á Lancaster, high performance director,á
and Jennie Wyllie, head of finance and services, have been jointlyá
appointed in a caretaker role, with a full time appointment expectedá
later in July.

The Solomon Islands Netball Federation (SINFED) is continuing to developá
the game across the country, with news that all but two of the country'sá
provinces will take part in the National U21 championships, to be heldá
in Lata in November.á Sadly, Central and Makira are unable to take partá
due to insufficient funding.á Sponsor Our Telekom is currently fundingá
tournaments across the provinces to aide team selection and development.á
SINFED will be using the tournament to scout potential U17 players forá
the Pacific Games in 2023 and other U21 players who could be added toá
the training squad for the upcomingá Vanuatu and Tonga Games.

The ANZ Championships reaches its final weekend of group games thisá
weekend, with the play off line up still far from settled.á In Newá
Zealand, while the Southern Steel is assured of the top spot, andá
Waikato BOP Magic will finish second, the remaining three in theá
conference - Northern Mystics, Mainland Tactix or Central Pulse - areá
vying for one finals spot.á á The Australian top two - NSW Swifts andá
Queensland Firebirds - is settled but the final play off place could goá
to the West Coast Fever (who travel to face the Firebirds) or theá
Vixens.á The Melbourne side lost shooter Karyn Bailey this week to aá
season-ending knee injury, and their play off hopes now rest on theá
ability of their young front line to take the win and notch up a bigá
score against Central Pulse, the only Kiwi side without a chance ofá
finals action.

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