De Bruin signs with netball's Thunderbirds

Photo by Martin Hunter/Getty Images

Former New Zealand international Leana de Bruin has continued to defy time after signing for the Adelaide Thunderbirds in next year's Super Netball competition.

The ex-Silver Ferns defender, who retired from international duty last year, turned 40 on Sunday but couldn't resist a crack at the new Australian competition after being contacted by coach Dan Ryan.

She had been in the process of considering retirement.

"Definitely shocked because here you are, sitting on the cross roads of whether to retire or what road you're going to take, and then an opportunity like this comes up," de Bruin said.

Adelaide had a forgettable first year in the league, managing one win in their 14 matches to finish last, something de Bruin is keen to address.

It was tough decision for the captain of the Northern Stars to make after leading the new club through the first year of the New Zealand's revamped domestic competition.

De Bruin, who has battled an on-going ankle injury all season, believes the competition's structure will also benefit her, with teams only playing one game per week.

She played 138 Tests - 104 for New Zealand and 34 for South Africa.