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Jess Haynes in action for Loughborough Lightning. Image | Touchlinepics.

Loughborough Lightning have today announced that Jess Haynes will join the side as a permanent replacement player for the remainder of the 2021 Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) season.

Having joined the Loughborough Lightning Academy in 2021 from fellow Superleague side London Pulse, circle defender and Nottingham Trent University student Haynes has been a key feature in Lightning’s U21 campaign so far.

In her first game with the U21 side in April, Haynes won Player of the Match in a victory over Team Bath Netball.

Joining up with the squad for this weekend’s double-header (Rounds 17 and 18), Haynes has been added to the roster after it was confirmed that Loughborough University student Annabel Roddy is ruled out of the rest of the season after sustaining an ankle injury in training.

Roddy – also a defender – made three appearances for Lightning in the 2021 season and made two turnovers for the Midlands outfit.

On Haynes’ inclusion in the side, Head Coach Sara Francis-Bayman commented: “It’s a great opportunity for Jess to come into the Superleague environment and provide defensive cover for the rest of the season.

“It’s disappointing for Annabel to miss the rest of the season but we will support her through her rehab to get her back on court as soon as possible.”

Haynes could make her VNSL bow this weekend with Lightning back in action this weekend. They will take on Celtic Dragons on Saturday 29 May followed by Leeds Rhinos on Sunday 30 May.

You can watch both games on Sky Sports’ YouTube channel or attended in person among the first fans allowed back at a Vitality Netball Superleague game in more than a year. Buy your tickets here.

Follow the Vitality Netball Superleague on Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates.

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