Netball great Browne's dream UK move

Australia netball great Madi Browne says she has "fire in the belly" to succeed in her new challenge as spearhead of English Superleague side Leeds Rhinos.

MADI BROWNE.
MADI BROWNE. Picture: Regi Varghese/Getty Images

Australian netball great Madi Browne says she is living a dream by making the bold decision to join the Superleague in England with new club Leeds Rhinos.

The Rhinos, who will join the Super League in 2021, have signed the 32-year-old former international on a two-year deal from Super Netball side Collingwood Magpies in what they believe is a groundbreaking move for the English game.

Browne, one of Australia's most decorated team sportswomen, having won 61 international caps as well a host of titles including Commonwealth Games gold in 2014 and silver in 2018, says it "is a dream to play netball abroad."

Many in Australia believed she had called it a day after injuries in September but Browne told Sky Sports that, actually, she had just decided to open a new chapter of her career 10,000 miles away in Leeds.

"It's was a huge decision to step away from Super Netball and the league in Australia," said Browne, who returned to the court earlier this year after a second knee reconstruction operation.

"When I was making that decision, I was just coming back from a second injury and going into isolation, I moved back with my family to spend time with them.

"I thought that it was the final push for me. I love competing and I love playing the sport, but the intensity of Super Netball was too demanding on my body.

"I'd done it for 15 years and thought that I'd given the competition, and the country, as much as I possibly could, but I've still got that fire in the belly to want to compete.

"I still want to play, give back and step outside of my comfort zone.

"I know Australian netball; I've been part of it for a very long time and I knew that when I made the announcement that this was in the back of my mind."

"I love a challenge and am looking forward to embracing and growing with Leeds, as well as helping my team navigate through whatever comes our way."

Browne is the only player to win the Liz Ellis Diamond award twice - the highest honour in Australian netball, given annually to the best international or domestic player.

Leeds coach Dan Ryan said the Rhinos were "proud and humbled" to have Browne as part of the squad.

"Madi is one of the most skilful, creative and admired players in our sport," he said.

"She's so well respected worldwide, not only for her incredible on court talents and long list of achievements, but also for the resilience and determination she has shown to defy the odds throughout her career."