Cronulla-based Silver Fern Kayla Cullen signs with NSW Swifts

Star signing: New Zealand international Kayla Cullen with fiance Shaun Johnson after the five-eighth joined the Sharks in December. Picture: Instagram
Star signing: New Zealand international Kayla Cullen with fiance Shaun Johnson after the five-eighth joined the Sharks in December. Picture: Instagram

The NSW Swifts have announced the signing of New Zealand international Kayla Cullen for the 2020 Super Netball season.

Cullen lives at Cronulla with her fiance, New Zealand international five-eighth Shaun Johnson, having moved to Sydney after Johnson joined the Sharks in December.

The 27-year-old, who has 47 Test caps for New Zealand, joined the Swifts last season as a temporary replacement player for rounds 10 and 11 of their premiership-winning campaign, making her debut against the West Coast Fever in Perth.

Cullen has played elite netball since 2010, having represented the Northern Mystics in the trans-Tasman ANZ Championship and, more recently, the Northern Stars in New Zealand's ANZ Premiership.

She won a silver medal with the Silver Ferns at the 2015 Netball World Cup in Sydney and won gold in two Fast5 World Series'.

Cullen's signing completed the Swifts' 2020 Super Netball roster, with the defender saying she was ready to test herself in the competition.

"I am really happy to have this opportunity to play with a club as welcoming and successful as the Swifts," she said.

Kayla Cullen. Picture: NSW Swifts

Kayla Cullen. Picture: NSW Swifts

"I love living in Sydney and buy into the vision Briony and her team have. They've had an amazing 2019 and I know they want to go better again in 2020, which makes me very excited.

"I was lucky enough to play out in Perth last year but can't wait to run out in front of a packed arena in Sydney.

"I've done that with New Zealand, but this time the majority of the fans will be cheering for my team, which will be awesome."

Swifts head coach Briony Akle said she was delighted to have Cullen on board and her roster complete for next year's title defence.

"Kayla is a world class player and to have almost 50 international caps to her name at her age is a testament to this," Akle said.

"She did a fantastic job for us in Perth last year and fitted in very well despite not having much netball played in the run-up.

"With Kate Eddy moving to the Vixens and Katrina Rore back in New Zealand we needed a top class operator to come into our defensive end and Kayla has a massive body of work behind her so fits that bill perfectly.

"Everything resets next year and come round one we won't be champions anymore so it's great to have our main roster locked in and be in a good place for pre-season."

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