7 Jul 2016

Australian clubs set to chase NZ netballers

1:00 pm on 7 July 2016

Top New Zealand netball players are likely to be targeted by Australian sides, with Netball Australia removing any restriction on overseas imports playing in its new domestic competition.

The competition which will begin in February next year replaces the current trans-Tasman competition.

In the ANZ Championship, all teams are able to contract one import player in their squad of 12.

The chief executive of Netball Australia Kate Palmer says the decision to remove the restrictions on overseas players is aimed at making the competition the strongest netball league in the world.

Australian netball clubs are likely to target more players like New Zealand's Langman who is currently playing for the NSW Swifts.

Australian netball clubs are likely to target more players like New Zealand's Langman who is currently playing for the NSW Swifts. Photo: Photosport

"The introduction of the new league and entry of three new teams provides an opportunity for more Australian athletes to play in the premier domestic competition.

"But if we want to be the best competition in the world, we need to look further afield, and welcome the world's best athletes to our competition.

"We'd love to have athletes from all regions of the world participate. We're certainly looking closely at Africa and Asia, as we saw some remarkable talent from those countries during last year's Netball World Cup".

Palmer doesn't expect that the removal of import restrictions will translate to international athletes filling team rosters.

"The reality is that a high proportion of the world's best players are Australian, and we expect that the majority of players in the new league will continue to come from our pathway.

"We're ranked number one in the world and we have the greatest player depth of any other country.

The franchises for the eight team competition are expected to be finalised by the end of the month.

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