Australian Superstar Madi Browne signs for Leeds Rhinos Netball
Leeds Rhinos newly formed Vitality Netball Superleague team has today announced its biggest signing yet, as former Australian Diamond, Madi Browne, 32, has confirmed she will be making the move from Australia’s Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) team, Collingwood Magpies, to compete on British soil from 2021, in a two year deal.
Browne is one of Australia’s most highly decorated athletes in any sport. Widely recognised as one of the greatest Wing-Attack players ever to play the game, she earned 61 test caps for the Australian Diamonds and was the first two-time winner of Australian domestic netball’s highest individual honour; the Liz Ellis Diamond Award*. A Commonwealth Games Gold (2014) and silver (2018) medalist, her achievements are even more remarkable as she has come back from major ACL reconstruction surgery twice.
Browne said: “I am absolutely delighted to be coming to the UK to play for Leeds Rhinos. It was a dream to play netball abroad and thanks to Leeds this dream gets to become reality. I’m ready to step outside my comfort zone of playing in Australia and inject my 15 years of elite Netball knowledge into UK Netball.
“The set-up at Leeds is really impressive and with Dan Ryan in charge, I’m not surprised with the stellar list of players he’s already recruited. I couldn’t help but be drawn into the shared vision emerging in Leeds, and the opportunity to assist in building a programme from the ground up is an honour I don’t take lightly. I love a challenge and am looking forward to embracing and growing with them, as well as helping my team navigate through whatever comes our way.
“Leeds already has a rich sporting culture and it’s exciting to make history being one of the inaugural players putting the Rhinos on the map for Netball in the UK. I look forward to developing new connections and relationships in another country and the chance to call it home. I can’t wait to move over and get started.”
Dan Ryan, High Performance Director and Superleague Head Coach at Leeds Rhinos Netball, said: “Madi is one of the most skilful, creative and admired players in our sport and we are so proud and humbled to have her as part of the inaugural Leeds Rhinos team.
“She’s so well respected world-wide not only for her incredible on court talents and long list of achievements, but the resilience and determination she has shown to defy the odds throughout her career.
“Madi is going to bring incredible high-performance expertise and leadership to our environment which will be invaluable when building a brand-new performance and team culture from the ground up.
“She is a legend of the sport and our athletes are so fortunate to have the opportunity to play and train alongside an athlete and person of her class and calibre. I truly believe she’s going to have significant impact not only on the court for us but in helping shape and develop the emerging talent within the squad.”
Tracey Neville, Vitality Netball Superleague Ambassador, said: “Madi Browne is a world class athlete and one of the best Wing-Attacks ever to play the game.
“To have her join the Vitality Netball Superleague is huge for the League and is a major signing coup for Leeds Rhinos in their first year. I’m sure the fans will love the opportunity to see her play again and she’s certainly going to raise the standards and have a huge impact on the competition.”
Browne will move to the UK in January 2021 to begin training with the squad ahead of the season opener in February.
* Leeds Rhinos Netball made their final player announcement after the Vitality Netball Superleague transfer deadline as they had to wait for medical clearance.
*The Liz Ellis award is named in honour of Liz Ellis, Australia’s most capped and celebrated player. It is the highest accolade in Australian netball and awarded to the best international and domestic player annually.