NSW Swifts confirm arrival of Natalie Haythornthwaite

Wasps and England star Natalie Haythornthwaite is joining Australian franchise NSW Swifts for the rest of the Super Netball season.

Just days after securing a second Vitality Superleague title in two years with Wasps victory over Loughborough at the Copper Box, the attacker is heading to Australia for the climax of the domestic season.

Haythornthwaite, a gold medal winner with England at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast earlier this year, will replace NSW star Claire O’Brien for the final four games of the regular season after she suffered a season-ending Achilles injury.

Swifts are currently seven points outside the top four and Haythornthwaite took some advice from a familiar face and Roses teammate.

“I have had some conversations with Helen Housby, who told me how much she was enjoying the environment, and I can’t wait to start training with the team and get out on court,” she told the Swifts official website.

“As a professional athlete I am always looking to test myself in the most challenging of environments and Suncorp Super Netball is one of those. I can’t wait to play alongside, and go up against, some of the best netballers in the world.

“I have had the privilege of playing for England in Australia on a number of occasions and I can’t wait to get a taste of the Club scene there.”

Haythornthwaite will go straight into the squad for a huge game this weekend that the Swifts must win if they are to keep alive their top four hopes.

“When Claire went down with her injury we knew that we had to bring in a specialist wing attack with a proven ability at this level and in Natalie we have that,” said Briony Akle said.

“Suncorp Super Netball is where the best of the best from around the world play their club netball and we made sure our search for a replacement would leave no stone unturned.

“Natalie has been a standout player on the English club scene for a long time and that has translated to the international set-up with the Roses.”

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