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Silver Ferns great Casey Kopua retires

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/03/2017

The curtain has lowered on one of the great international netball careers, with former captain Casey Kopua announcing her retirement from the Silver Ferns.

World class defender Kopua, 31, says the time is right to spend time with her young family and focus on domestic netball with Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic.

She leaves the international arena as New Zealand's most capped captain, having led them in 77 of her 101 Tests.

An athletic and fiercely competitive defender, she played goal defence or goal keep at three World Cups and three Commonwealth Games following her Test debut in 2005. She won two Games gold medals.

Kopua was handed the captaincy in 2009 and remained at the helm until her final Test nearly two years ago.

She had been ruled out since by serious injury and the birth of her first child 10 months ago.

Kopua only returned to serious netball this month to play in the inaugural national premiership.

"It has been an honour and a privilege to wear the black dress," she said.

"The memories and friends I have made I will always treasure, but this is the right decision for me and my family.

"Leading this young Magic side is exciting for me - there is so much talent coming through and the sport is in good hands."

Kopua expects the Silver Ferns to thrive under the leadership of her captaincy successor Katrina Grant, looking ahead to next year's Commonwealth Games.

Netball New Zealand chief executive Jennie Wyllie says Kopua will always be regarded as one of her country's greatest players.

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