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Northern Stars to play in Manukau

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/12/2016
Kayla Cullen of New Zealand looks to pass during the 2015 Netball World Cup Gold Medal match between Australia and New Zealand at Allphones Arena on August 16, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. © Mark Kolbe/ Getty Images Kayla Cullen of New Zealand looks to pass during the 2015 Netball World Cup Gold Medal match between Australia and New Zealand at Allphones Arena on August 16, 2015 in Sydney, Australia.

New Zealand's newest netball franchise will play their ANZ Premiership matches out of Manukau's events centre.

The Northern Stars were announced in October as the country's sixth franchise, signing Silver Ferns star Kayla Cullen and former stalwart Leana de Bruin.

Other capped Silver Ferns include young gun Maia Wilson, Malia Paseka, Sulu Fitzpatrick and Courtney Tairi, while the side's import spot will be filled by Fijian shooter Afa Rusivakula.

Ex-Melbourne Vixens boss Julie Hoornweg will serve as coach.

They will play five of their six homes games in south Auckland, with the remaining Auckland derby fixture against the Northern Mystics to be played elsewhere.

Papakura will serve as the side's training base.

"Our intention in basing ourselves in south Auckland is to connect with the netball community in the area," Stars general manager Tim Hamilton said.

The ANZ Premiership, which begins in March, will be contested between the Stars, Mystics, Waikato BOP Magic, Central Pulse, Mainland Tactix and Southern Steel.

Each side will play 15 round-robin games before a two-game finals series with the top three teams.

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