Giants defender Kristiana Manu'a out for season with achilles injury

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Giants defender Kristiana Manu'a will miss the entire inaugural National Netball League season after tearing her achilles tendon.

The 21-year-old suffered the injury during training last week, and will have surgery followed by a gruelling rehabilitation period.

It's a massive blow for Manu'a, who was looking to build on a breakout 2016, during which she made her Diamonds debut in August's Netball Quad Series.

It's also an early loss for the Giants, who were looking to make waves in 2017's new national tournament with a strong 10-player roster also featuring former Diamonds vice-captain Kim Green, fellow former Swifts stalwart Susan Pettitt and England international Jo Harten.

Coach Julie Fitzgerald will now look at recruiting a replacement player.

"We're just devastated for Kristiana," Fitzgerald said.

"I've been her coach for three years now and I truly believe she's in the best form of her career, highlighted by the fact she made her international debut only three months ago.

"Kristiana is a terrific young woman ... she will continue to be a vital component of this team and we look forward to seeing her back to full strength in 2018."

Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander said Manu'a still had a promising career ahead of her and was working towards inclusion in the national squad for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The Giants will kick off their campaign at home when they host new cross-town rivals the NSW Swifts on February 18.