31 Mar 2017

Kopua calls time on Silver Ferns

10:53 am on 31 March 2017

The former Silver Ferns captain Casey Kopua has announced her retirement from international netball.

Kopua played the last of her 101 tests for New Zealand in 2015 before taking extended leave and having a baby.

The 31 year old returned to play for the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic in the ANZ premiership this year but has now announced she won't be available for the Silver Ferns.

Casey Kopua

Casey Kopua Photo: Photsoport

Kopua leaves the international stage as New Zealand's most capped captain, having led the Silver Ferns in 77 tests.

She competed at three World Cups, in 2007, 2011 and 2015, and three Commonwealth Games, where she won two gold medals.

"I am loving my time with the Magic and am excited to be part of the ANZ Premiership, but I feel the time is right to retire from the international game," Kopua said.

She said her 11-year career with New Zealand was a "an honour and a privilege."

"The memories and friends I have made I will always treasure, but this is the right decision for me and my family.

Casey Kopua in agony on the court in Sydney

Casey Kopua recovered from a serious knee injury in 2014 to return to the Silver Ferns the following year. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"Leading this young Magic side is exciting for me - there is so much talent coming through and the sport is in good hands," she said.

"Netball will always be a part of my life, but for now I look forward to seeing the Silver Ferns continue to grow under the leadership of [captain] Katrina [Grant] and [vice captain] Maria [Tutaia] as they look to the Commonwealth Games and Netball World Cup - I'll be cheering loudly with the rest of the country!"

Netball New Zealand chief executive Jennie Wyllie said Kopua was regarded as one of the sports' greats.

"She is a true champion of our game, an incredible mentor and role model to younger players, and an exceptional person."

Casey Kopua (middle) battles for the ball against Mainland Tactix.

Casey Kopua (middle) battles for the ball against Mainland Tactix. Photo: Photosport