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Tuaine Keenan of Leeds Rhinos Netball.

Leeds Rhinos Netball have confirmed that experienced defender Tuaine Keenan has joined the club for the 2021 Vitality Netball Superleague season.

The New Zealander, who is a specialist goal keeper, is a late addition to the squad, replacing Madi Browne after it was confirmed the former Australian international would not be joining the Rhinos until next season.

The 28-year-old began her career in the UK with Yorkshire Jets where she helped the team to a fourth place Superleague finish.

She went on to play for Team Northumbria before making the switch, to Loughborough Lightning in 2018, where she played alongside current Rhinos Vicki Oyesola, Rosie Harris and Emily Hollingworth.

A strong and intelligent circle defender, she will bring a wealth of experience to the Rhinos side from her playing career on both sides of the hemisphere.

Speaking about signing for the Rhinos Keenan said: “I’m really happy to be joining the Rhinos. Things have moved pretty quick, I spoke to Dan last week and I started training with the team on Monday. It’s been really good so far and I feel comfortable around the team. I have played with most of the players before so that has helped me settle in.

“It feels good to be with a new club in Yorkshire, having played with Yorkshire Jets for two years and that was such a good experience and I have lived in Leeds for most of my eight years in England and it’s really good to see the franchise coming back to Yorkshire.

“I have heard a lot of good things from my close friends who are in the team and how good the environment is here and that influenced my decision to join the club and I’m really looking forward to starting the season with the team.”

Dan Ryan, High Performance Director and Superleague Head Coach at Leeds Rhinos Netball, said: “We are delighted to have Tuaine join our team and so grateful she was available and willing so close the start of the season.

“She’s a really seasoned Superleague campaigner with excellent smarts and great tenacity. I’ve seen her perform brilliantly against some of the best goal shooters in the league in previous seasons, so I think she’s going to be a great addition to our defence end.

“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind for her but considering she’s played with so many of the players in our squad before, she’s slotted into training this week like she has been here for the whole 18 weeks. She is a great character to have on board and hopefully she can become a really important figure in our team.”

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