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Langman petition gains momentum

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/05/2017

Kiwi netballer Laura Langman. © Getty Images Kiwi netballer Laura Langman. A petition calling for Kiwi netballer Laura Langman to be allowed to play for the Silver Ferns again is gaining momentum.

The 30-year-old centre, who played 141 successive Tests for New Zealand, isn't eligible for selection for the national side this year after signing a contract with the Sunshine Coast Lightning in the new Australian domestic league.

Netball New Zealand last year ruled Langman woudn't be allowed to play for the Silver Ferns after the trans-Tasman ANZ Championship split into two domestic competitions, meaning the veteran is playing for an overseas side - something prohibited in selection rules.

A petition on Avaaz.org is now calling for her to be ruled eligible again and by noon on Saturday had passed the 1500-signature mark.

It was launched on Friday.

In the accompanying statement, the organisers said Langman had been a "faithful servant" to the game in New Zealand and described her as the " Ritchie McCaw of netball".

"Understandably, if Netball NZ had the same depth in its ranks as rugby union in New Zealand, then the ruling would make sense," they said.

"Unfortunately, Netball does not."

They said Australia had a rule that allowed veteran players to be granted exemptions to play in overseas domestic leagues.

"She is already a New Zealand netball great, whether she wears the black dress again or not. However, she is still undoubtedly good enough to continue her international career."

Langman last year won the country's most prestigious netball award, being crowned player of the year at the New Zealand Netball awards.

The Silver Ferns played their first international Test without her since 2004 in January.

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