By Katrina Nissen & Jaimie Keay
The 2023 ANZ Premiership will officially kick off on March 4 in Tāmaki-Makaurau with a blockbuster clash between Northern Mystics and Southern Steel.
To help you build excitement, here is everything we know (so far) about your team – noting that training partners are yet to be announced.
The Mystics have kept a relatively unchanged lineup heading into 2023 with only one new addition in Carys Stythe who has joined the team on a full-time contract.
After not defending there title last season, expect the Mystics to once again push for a spot in the grand final. One major piece still missing is a new head coach after the departure of Helene Wilson at the end of the 2022 season.
With Silver Fern, Grace Nweke again spearheading the shooting circle, the question will be who will the new coach opt for at GA. Monica Falkner started most games for the club last season but at times was inconsistent and with Filda Vui showcasing her strong accuracy, it will be a fascinating battle.
Ins: Carys Stythe (Mystics training partner 2022)
Outs: Fa’amu Ioane (to Central Pulse)
|Grace Nweke||Claire O’Brien||Sulu Fitzpatrick|
|Monica Falkner||Michaela Sokolich-Beatson||Phoenix Karaka|
|Filda Vui||Tayla Earle||Carys Stythe|
Two new faces enter the Stars’ ranks for 2023 with both heading north from the Mainland Tactix; Samon Nathan and Kelera Nawai-Caucau. Nathan returns home to Tāmaki-Makaurau (Auckland) after four years with the Tactix. She bolsters an already dynamic midcourt featuring Silver Ferns captain, Gina Crampton and squad member Mila Reuelu-Buchanan. But Nathan brings with her versatility as she is comfortable playing every midcourt position.
For Fijian defender, Nawai-Caucau, Stars will be her third club in as many years. While she played 13 matches in season 2022, she will be hoping to find more consistency as she looks to fill the space left by Anna Harrison.
Coach: Kiri Wills
Ins: Samon Nathan (Mainland Tactix), Kelera Nawai-Caucau (Mainland Tactix)
Outs: Anna Harrison (retirement), Lisa Mather
|Maia Wilson||Gina Crampton||Kelera Nawai-Caucau|
|Amorangi Malesala||Mila Reuelu-Buchanan||Kayla Johnson|
|Jamie Hume||Samon Nathan||Elle Temu|
Magic are another team who has retained most of their 2022 lineup. On the back of a disrupted 2022 season due to covid and injuries, expect more from the proud Waikato team who are still yet to play finals since the conclusion of the trans-tasman competition back in 2016.
Their only change comes with the introduction of former Tactix midcourter, Charlette Elley, who replaces Magic stalwart, Sam Winders. Elley, is a consistent and nuggety WD who can also slide into C will no doubt enjoy her time alongside former Silver Fern Claire Kersten. All going to plan, Elley will also bring up her 100th ANZ Premiership game in Round 4.
Coach: Mary-Jane Araroa
Ins: Charlotte Elley (Mainland Tactix)
Outs: Sam Winders (to Southern Steel)
|Ameliaranne Ekenasio||Claire Kersten||Erena Mikaere|
|Bailey Mes||Charlotte Elley||Georgia Tong|
|Ivana Rowland||Georgie Edgecombe||Oceane Maihi|
The reigning 2022 Champions, Central Pulse have injected some star shooting power into their ranks with experienced Malawian athlete, Joyce Mvula signing on after the departure of Aliyah Dunn. The aerial goal shooter has spent the last six seasons playing in the Vitality Netball Superleague, spearheading the Manchester Thunder’s premiership winning campaign. She will partner Tiana Metuarau in Pulse’s goal scoring end, giving them a dynamic, moving goal circle.
Northern Mystics defender Fa’amu Ioane also joins the Pulse and will be looking to return to some consistent court time after a couple of years on and off the court with injury. Ioane can play both WD and C.
Coach: Yvette McCausland-Durie
Ins: Joyce Mvula (Vitality Superleague – Manchester Thunder), Parris Mason (NNL – Central Manawa), Ainselyana Puleiata (NNL – Central Manawa), Fa’amu Ioane (Northern Mystics)
Outs: Aliyah Dunn (Mainland Tactix), Erikana Pedersen (retirement), Paris Lokotui (injury), Binnian Hunt (injury)
|Tiana Metuarau||Madeline Gordon||Kristiana Manu’a|
|Joyce Mvula||Whitney Souness||Kelly Jury|
|Amelia Walmsley||Fa’amu Ioane||Parris Mason|
Youngster Greer Sinclair will enjoy a chance to play for just one team in 2023 when she joins the Mainland Tactix. In 2022’s surprising season, the former Northern Stars training partner donned three dresses and played in three different positions. That versatility may be needed when she joins the Ōtautahi (Christchurch) franchise this season because she is one of four defenders, and with an attack-heavy midcourt, expect to see Sinclair or Karin Burger swing into WD.
Two other exciting changes have been made to the Tactix lineup with premiership winning shooter, Aliyah Dunn jumping over from the Central Pulse and, English international Laura Malcolm crossing over from the Vitality Netball Super League’s champion Manchester Thunder. With Silver Fern GA Te Paea Selby-Rickit carrying the majority of the shooting load in 2022, expect to see a more balanced circle with the inclusion of Dunn who had a 93% shooting year with the Pulse.
Coach: Marianne Delaney-Hoshek
Ins: Aliyah Dunn (Central Pulse) Greer Sinclair (Northern Stars – Training Partner), Laura Malcolm (Vitality Superleague – Manchester Thunder)
Outs: Ellie Bird, Kelera Nawai-Caucau (to Northern Stars)
|Aliyah Dunn||Kimiora Poi||Karin Burger|
|Te Paea Selby-Rickit||Laura Malcolm||Jane Watson|
|Hannah Glen||Parris Petera||Greer Sinclair|
When the signing period closed, Southern Steel had only one change to their 2023 lineup: the introduction Sam Winders from the WBOP Magic. However, fresh from claiming Commonwealth Games bronze, Shannon Saunders announced her pregnancy, meaning she will likely miss most, if not all of, the 2023 season. The club is yet to announce her replacement.
English international George Fisher returns for her third season with the Steel and after missing out on the Commonwealth Games this year, she will no doubt be looking to push for a spot in next year’s Roses team for the Netball World Cup. In 2022, both Georgia Heffernan and Saviour Tui had time in the GA bib. Which one will claim the starting bib for next season is anyone’s guess.
Coach: Reinga Bloxham
Ins: Sam Winders (from WBOP Magic)
Outs: Ali Wilshier
|George Fisher||Kate Heffernan||Kate Burley|
|Georgia Heffernan||Sam Winders||Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit|
|Saviour Tui||Shannon Saunders*||Sarahpheinna Woulf|
*likely to miss 2023 season though no official announcement has been made at the time of publishing
Over 12 tantalizing weeks, the six clubs will play a whirlwind 15 rounds, before the victors will be crowned in early June (details to be confirmed once the season commences).
The full fixture can be found on the ANZ Premiership website.
All 45 matches of the regular season will be broadcast live on Sky Sport and selected games available free-to-air on Prime. All matches will available on replay via Sky Sport.
International fans will have to wait a bit longer to find out what viewing options are available. We will keep you posted!