Super Netball international players given green light to return to Australia

Phumza Maweni of the Lightning celebrates after her team defeats the Swifts Jono Searle/Getty Images

Five international Super Netball players have been given the green light to return to Australia after they were granted government permission to return ahead of the season restart.

Due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 lockdown, the Super Netball league gave all international players the opportunity to return to their home countries to ride out the lockdown with three players from South Africa and two from England taking up the opportunity.

Phumza Maweni (Sunshine Coast Lightning), Lenize Potgeiter and Shadine Van der Merwe (Adelaide Thunderbirds) will return from South Africa, while Nat Haythornthwaite (NSW Swifts) and Layla Guscouth (Adelaide Thunderbirds) will journey back from England.

The Super Netball league sought exemptions from the Australian Border Force Commissioner for the five athletes to re-enter Australia ahead of the 2020 season. The players will adhere to strict biosecurity measures on their return, including 14-day quarantine in accommodation nominated by state governments.

A date for the start of the 2020 season has yet to be finalised with teams unable to return to training until June 1 under Super Netball league guidelines. In a statement, Super Netball CEO Chris Symington stated the league were in the final stages of confirming a start date.

"There are still several moving parts we're working through in confirming detail of the 2020 Suncorp Super Netball season and we have many people working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure this is locked away as soon as possible.

"We appreciate our fans are patiently waiting for news on when and how the 2020 season will happen and we hope to be announcing further information around this by the end of the week.

"The league is excited that our international athletes who returned home will be back on Australian soil soon and we're confident we'll see our teams back to some type of group training in the near future."