Netball

Haythornthwaite to return to Thunder

Natalie Haythornthwaite is not featuring in England’s series against New Zealand because of Covid restrictions, but will join the squad for their matches against Australia in October

England’s Natalie Haythornthwaite is to return to former club Manchester Thunder for the 2022 season.

The Roses attacker, 28, announced last week that she would be leaving New South Wales Swifts after three years in Australia to return home to England.

Haythornthwaite, who has 50 international caps, won Commonwealth gold in 2018 and bronze at the 2019 World Cup.

“I’m so excited to come home back to the UK,” she said.

Haythornthwaite added: “I wanted to give myself the best opportunity to get out there week in week out and do what I love.

“I’m excited to bring back what I have learned [in Australia] back to the Thunder family, but I’ve still got so much to learn and keep evolving my own netball game as well.”

The wing-attack/goal-attack spent the 2016 season with Thunder, where they narrowly missed out on Superleague title success, before moving to Wasps where she won back-to-back domestic titles.

Alongside fellow Roses shooter Helen Housby, she won Australia’s Super Netball Grand Final with Swifts in August.

Thunder announced last week that they would be without mid-courter Amy Carterexternal-link for the 2022 season after she sustained an Achilles injury.

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