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Nia Jones - Celtic Dragons

Image: Ben Lumley

Leeds Rhinos Netball have announced Welsh international Nia Jones as the fifth player to join their squad for the upcoming Vitality Netball Super League season.

The 30-year old has signed from Celtic Dragons where she was captain last season. She comes with a wealth of experience, both in Superleague and at international level, and this year won her 53rd cap for Wales at the Commonwealth Games.

The Wrexham born player can cover Goal Defence and Wing Defence and started her early playing career started with Mold Netball Club.  She first earned honours with Wales as captain of the Under-17 and Under-21 sides before going onto gain her first full cap and later becoming co-captain of Wales.

After playing netball at Cardiff Met University, where she won the BUCS league, Jones joined Celtic Dragons for the first time in 2013.  After three seasons she temporarily left the sport to pursue a professional football career with Reading in 2015, after previously playing for Cardiff City.  In football she also won 30 caps for her country.  She re-signed for Dragons in 2017, before moving Severn Stars in 2020 and then returned to captain the Dragons last season.

Speaking about her deal with the Rhinos Jones said: “I’m ecstatic to be joining the Rhinos.  I was fortunate enough to play with Liana Leota for a couple of years at Severn Stars and I just think she is a wonderful person and we know how magic she was on the court as a player and I have no doubt that she will be a fantastic coach and leader so I couldn’t turn down an opportunity to work with her and be part of an exciting squad that she has assembled.

“I remember when there was a Leeds Carnegie and a Yorkshire Jets side in the competition and it’s such a passionate area for netball and sport so I think it’s fantastic that the region has another team represented in Superleague.

“I am from North Wales so it’s not too far from the North of England and everybody is down to earth and has a good sense of humour and is keen on hard work as well, which are the things I pride myself on, so I am looking forward to it.  They have challenged for the top four in the last couple of years.  I have not moved up here to be cruising around the bottom of the league and I do see us in with a chance of top four.”

Leeds Rhinos Netball head coach Liana Leota said: “I am delighted to bring Nia to the Rhinos.  I know her well from her time at Stars.  She brings leadership and is a great team player.  She is a hard worker and is the one that will grind right to the end.  I think whenever she plays she always has a presence about her and us demanding of herself and from others and that’s what we want as part of our team.”

Jones joins Brie Grierson, Vicki Oyesola, Michelle Magee and Rosie Harris as the confirmed signing for the 2023 Leeds Rhinos Netball team.

Leeds Rhinos Netball have confirmed the ten players from their 2022 squad who have left the club.

Jade Clarke, who was Rhinos Netball’s first ever signing and co-captained the team in their first two seasons, will not be returning for a third year.  Rhea Dixon, Paige Kindred, Sienna Rushton, Tuaine Keenan and Amelia Hall, who all played for the Rhinos in their first two seasons and helped the team to the play offs in the franchise’s first year in the Vitality Netball Superleague are among the players who are departing.  Rebekah Airey, Amy Clinton, Lydia Walker and Sigi Burger, who joined the Rhinos in 2022 and all played regularly last season have also left the club.

Dan Busfield, Franchise Director for Leeds Rhinos Netball, paid tribute to the departing players: “I would like to thank all ten players who are leaving the Rhinos.  They have all made a huge contribution to our club, both on and off the court.  We are a young franchise and these players have played an important role in helping shape our club and culture and they will always be part of the Rhinos family.  They leave with the sincere thanks from everyone involved with the club and we wish them all the best for the future.”

Emily Hollingworth, who suffered an ACL injury during the 2022 season, will continue her rehabilitation with the club with a view to then train with the team.

For news on all of the latest signings during the window, make sure to follow the @NetballSL on TwitterInstagram and subscribe to our newsletter.

On Twitter, you’ll be able to keep across the ins and outs with our 2023 Signing Window Twitter Moment. For specific club news, be sure to be across all eleven of our teams on their respective social media accounts and subscribe to our List.

We will also be covering each signing in full on our website, offering weekly round-ups and are offering a comprehensive overview of 2023 squads on our Transfers page. Don’t miss out!

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