9 Jul 2015

Kopua and de Bruin pair up again

11:57 am on 9 July 2015

The Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic has re-signed all but one of its New Zealand conference winning trans-Taman netball squad for 2016.

The only absentee is defender Jo Trip, who is heading away on her OE.

All the rest of this year's squad, which featured 13 players due to Casey Kopua's injury rehabilitation, will be back in 2016.

Nine of the squad were recently named in Netball World Cup, Under 21 or National 'A' squads.

Defensive duo Casey Kopua and Leana de Bruin will both be back, ending speculation about their futures.

Casey Kopua and Leanna de Bruin will again make up a formidable defensive combination for the Magic.

Casey Kopua and Leanna de Bruin will again make up a formidable defensive combination for the Magic. Photo: Photosport

"I still love the game, love our team and know I still have plenty to contribute to our 2016 campaign," said 2015 Kia Magic Co-Captain and season MVP Leana de Bruin.

"As on court captain this season I also learnt a lot and with such a great coach in Julie Fitzgerald I'm still growing my game, so why stop now?"

After working so hard to rehabilitate from her knee injury this year, Casey Kopua also can't wait for 2016.

"I want to be involved again because I know we've got the potential to go all the way and I'm really excited by the development of our squad this season and where we're capable of getting to in the future," said Kopua.

Maeanwhile after a four year absence the former Silver Ferns defender Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit is returning to the Southern Steel.

Selby-Rickit launched her ANZ Championship career at the franchise, representing the Steel from 2008-2011 and its predecessor the Sting in 2006-2007.

She has spent the past four years playing for the Wellington based Pulse.

"When I first moved to Invercargill, I'd never even heard of the place but I loved it pretty much straight away and then spent six years there so I'm really excited to now be coming back," she said.

"It was an easier decision than going to any other team because I've been in the environment before … I already know the people are nice."

2016 Waikato Bay of Plenty squad: Aisha Bower, Leana de Bruin, Ellen Halpenny, Jo Harten, Kelly Jury, Casey Kopua, Kristiana Manu'a, Malia Paseka, Jamie-Lee Price, Grace Rasmussen, Sam Sinclair, Courtney Tairi