Northern Ireland international star pledges future to Rhinos Netball

Leeds Rhinos Netball have announced a major addition to their squad with the signing of the Northern Ireland Vice-Captain Fi Toner, 30, from Team Bath. 

Toner, a specialist defensive player, has a wealth of experience on the international scene since making her senior debut as a 19-year-old at 2009 Nations Cup Competition in Singapore.  Since then she has amassed over 80 test caps for her country. 

The Belfast-born player was Vice-Captain for Northern Ireland in last year’s Netball World Cup and has played in two Commonwealth Games in 2014 and 2018. In 2019 she was named Northern Ireland’s Senior International Player of the Year. 

Team Bath became Toner’s third Superleague club in 2020, having previously played at Team Northumbria and London Pulse, where she was one of their standout performers in the 2019 season. 

An all-round talented athlete, Toner has also played basketball for MacMurray College, Illinois, USA, and was part of the Ulster Rockets team that won the All-Ireland National Cup in 2011. 

Speaking about signing for Rhinos Netball Toner said: “It’s great to be joining the Rhinos and the new set up here in Leeds.  It’s been a good couple of few weeks so far in pre-season and I am enjoying it. 

“It was a big draw to come to Leeds, having known Dan Ryan for a couple of years in the Northern Ireland set up, so that was great and I have also played with Brie Grierson at Northumbria and London Pulse. 

“I think the young players that Dan has recruited to the club have incredible talent and it’s going to be really nice to get to know them, see their skill set at the start and see that grow over the season.  We want to be competitive as a new club and I think the programme that Dan has set up here has given us the opportunity to bond and gel in this pre-season set and then we will see what we can do next season.” 

High Performance Director and Superleague Head Coach for Leeds Rhinos Netball, Dan Ryan said: “Fi is an experienced campaigner at Superleague level and has over a decade of international experience under her belt which will be invaluable for the youth in our squad. 

“She’s a very versatile defender with a brilliant ability to read the play and she’s one of the best in the business at picking off that crucial intercept when it’s needed the most. 

“I believe Fi still has another level of performance in her and I think she can unlock that in our full-time programme. 

“I’m really looking forward to seeing her play alongside the Vicki Oyesloa, they have the potential to form a really lethal partnership in our backline.” 

Toner joins Jade Clarke, Vicki Oyesola, Brie Grierson, Rosie Harris, Britt Coleman, Rhea Dixon, Sienna Rushton and Amelia Hall as the players announced so far in the Leeds Rhinos Netball squad for 2021.