Leeds Rhinos’ Jade Clarke desires the Netball Superleague’s latest crew to start out their debut season “with a bang”.
Clarke, England Roses’ most-capped participant, has joined Leeds from Coventry-based Wasps, the place she received the Superleague in 2018.
With no home netball having taken place since final March, mid-courter Clarke desires to “seize the creativeness of followers” – regardless of matches being performed behind closed doorways.
“It has been a very long time – so whenever you lastly get to the purpose the place you are going to be stepping on courtroom quickly, it is actually rewarding,” mentioned Clarke, 37.
“We’re wanting ahead to placing our fashion of netball out into the league and we need to be that basically aggressive crew who by no means surrender and now have a little bit of aptitude in assault as nicely.
“We’re actually excited.”
The Rhinos, who’re affiliated with their namesakes in rugby league, had been based in 2017 and gained entry to the Superleague final yr. Clarke was the primary participant to signal for the crew, becoming a member of head coach Dan Ryan.
They begin their marketing campaign towards Celtic Dragons on Friday – the primary match of the season.
“At Wasps, we had been so profitable and I nonetheless love the membership a lot, however I reside in Manchester so I needed to discover a crew that is nearer to me,” mentioned Clarke.
“I needed to search out the issues I loved at Wasps – a household tradition, nice coaching, nice coaches, nice gamers to play with, and I feel I’ve discovered that in Leeds.”
‘We’re getting examined each few days’
The announcement of Superleague’s return was made lower than two weeks in the past, with Covid-19 restrictions having difficult the method of getting the season beneath means.
Matches will probably be performed at two venues – Studio 001 in Wakefield, and the Copperbox Enviornment in London – with the season culminating within the Grand Ultimate on Sunday, 27 June.
Gamers and employees will probably be examined for coronavirus regularly, and can adhere to social-distancing tips.
“We’re getting examined each few days,” mentioned Clarke.
“We have had a whole lot of Zoom calls and training so we all know what we’re doing after we get to the venues. It should solely be on courtroom that we’ll be with out masks and never socially distant.
“It is actually vital that we comply with all the foundations to maintain issues protected if we wish our league to go forward, and that we’re good position fashions for those who are watching at residence.”
As a part of a brand new broadcast cope with Sky Sports activities, all matches are set to be broadcast reside – a primary for the league.
Manchester Thunder are the defending champions after lifting the trophy in 2019 – with the 2020 season having been terminated in Could due to the pandemic.
Who else will we see on courtroom?
There was a great deal of motion within the shut season, with new gamers arriving and a few acquainted faces returning after spells in Australia and New Zealand.
Beth Cobden returns to her former membership Loughborough Lightning after spending time with Adelaide Thunderbirds, whereas Roses defender Layla Guscoth is again at Crew Bathtub, together with worldwide team-mate Serena Guthrie.
Clarke desires the Superleague to “match as much as the Australia and New Zealand leagues” after considerations final season’s cancellation would imply the lack of momentum constructed throughout the 2018 Commonwealth Video games and 2019 World Cup.
“Historically we have all needed to go and play over there however we have had extra high quality gamers coming over to the league this yr than ever,” she mentioned.
“I do suppose it is actually vital that netball is seen so that individuals aren’t forgetting about all of the progress we made.
“Final yr was an actual fear for girls’s sport normally – we have made such good strides, not simply in netball however soccer, hockey, cricket, all ladies’s sport is admittedly excelling so we need to hold that momentum going.”
Guidelines and format tweaked
Amongst new taking part in situations for 2021 are:
- The introduction of 12-minute quarters
- Attracts are actually permitted, with three factors for a win, one for a draw, and none for a loss
- Franchises’ matchday squads could have 12 gamers
- Some weekends will function bumper rounds, with groups taking part in two matches