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Kyra Jones of Celtic Dragons.

Severn Stars have announced that former Welsh international Kyra Jones will be stepping out of retirement to join their Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) squad as a replacement for the injured Bethan Dyke.

Dyke was injured during the first quarter of Stars’ victory over Celtic Dragons earlier this month. This was later confirmed as an ACL rupture which will require Dyke to sit out the rest of the 2021 season.

Jones will now be available for selection for Stars’ upcoming games against Strathclyde Sirens on Sunday and Wasps on Monday.

She originally arrived from Australia as an ‘import’ player for Superleague side Celtic Dragons ahead of the 2009/10 season and went on to qualify to play for her adopted nation Wales, gaining more than 50 caps.

Also playing for Team Bath, the 35-year-old was a member of the VNSL for many seasons before retiring in 2019 and will provide Stars with a wealth of midcourt experience.

Jones said: “Joining Severn Stars was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down really, to get back out there and play the game I know and love. To be given a ’round two’ is something I didn’t think would happen.

“Beth [Dyke] is a great friend and beloved teammate [for Wales]. I am just gutted she isn’t on the court with me or instead of me, but I know she will back stronger than ever and I can’t wait to see her get back out there.

“I am looking forward to getting back out on court and seeing what I can do. Having been out of the Superleague for almost two years, it will certainly be challenging.

“I have tried to stay fit but there is nothing that can prep you for match day games. I can’t wait to get involved with this group of talented netballers and am looking forward to working with Melissa and the rest of the Stars coaching staff.”

Severn Stars Head Coach Melissa Bessell said: “I think I’ve been very lucky in being able to sign Kyra Jones. The bottom line is having to replace a player of Bethan Dyke’s calibre is extremely difficult. Bethan is a big loss for us, but she is already on the road to recovery and we wish her all the best.

“As I have been in the country long enough and have very good relationships with a lot of players, I knew that Kyra was not playing, not classed as an import, but also has a lot of experience of playing at both VNSL and international level.

“For me, it was about making sure I could bring someone in to cover the remainder of the season, who could bring experience and knowledge and fit in with the team.

“I know that Kyra will do that, so I am very excited to be announcing that she is joining the team. I’ve got a nice little ‘diamond’ in Kyra to slip into the squad; it’s onwards and upwards from here.”

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