Wasps Netball star Natalie Haythornthwaite has joined up with the NSW Swifts in Australia until the end of their season.
The approach from the Suncorp Super Netball League side follows impressive performances as part of the England gold medal Commonwealth Games winning side and securing backto-back Superleague titles with Wasps.
Suncorp Super Netball League is widely regarded as the best in the world and already features six of England’s Commonwealth Games gold medal winning team, including the likes of Ama Agbeze and Geva Mentor.
Haythornthwaite will replace Claire O’Brien in the NSW Swifts squad – after the mid-courter suffered a season-ending ruptured ACL.
Playing for the Swifts will give the Wing Attack/Goal Attack the opportunity to link-up with England teammate Helen Housby, who plays Goal Shooter for the Sydney-based team.
Swifts are currently sixth in the league and still have a chance of reaching the play-offs with four games to play. Haythornthwaite is expected to be available for their game this weekend against table-toppers West Coast Fever.
Wasps director of netball Tamsin Greenway said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Nat and everyone at Wasps, myself included, couldn’t be happier for her.
“She has had an incredible year so far, winning the Commonwealth gold medal with England for the first time ever and of course helping our team win back-to-back titles.
“Playing in the Suncorp Super Netball League is a once in a lifetime experience and one every English player aspires to.
“I am not surprised Swifts have approached Nat. She would have been top of my list. Nat is a creative playmaker and an incredible teammate.
“We wish her all the best with this opportunity. We look forward to seeing how she gets on in Australia and of course welcoming her back to Wasps over the summer.”