Netball
AAP 20d

Kiwi netball star quits Aussie champions

Netball

New Zealand great Laura Langman is leaving inaugural Super Netball champions Sunshine Coast Lightning and has hinted she might seek an international return with the Silver Ferns for the 2019 World Cup.

The dynamic midcourter, a veteran of 141 consecutive Tests, was made ineligible for the New Zealand team while playing last season in the Australian competition.

First, she plans to take a break from the game.

"I have come to the decision that I am going to step away from netball in 2018," the 31-year-old Langman said in a statement.

"At this point in time, I have nothing concrete planned for next year, but I will put more energy into travel, work and family life at home.

"There were a lot of tears and a lot of thought put into this, but I am happy with my decision."

Langman represented New Zealand from 2005-16, including three World Cups (2007, 2011, 2015), and would not rule out a fourth World Cup tournament in 2019 in England.

"Netball New Zealand is happy with the strategy and the team it has, so conversations need to take place for me to get back into the Silver Ferns," Langman said.

"Sometimes as a player, these decisions are not in your control and I think to help me get through this tough time, I have to approach it like a non-selection.

"To date, every decision I have made is to make myself a better player and a better person to represent New Zealand."

Lightning coach Noeline Taurua praised her compatriot's contribution to the club in its debut season.

"Laura helped establish Lightning and she deserves recognition for her professionalism on and off the court.

"Laura's return to New Zealand may open the door for a possible call-up to the Silver Ferns in the future.

"She is too good an athlete to be lost to netball and I hope she comes back to the sport when she is ready."

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