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Former Diamond Locke defects to England

AAP logoAAP 22/12/2016 Warren Barnsley

Former Diamonds player Chelsea Locke is set to face Australia in the upcoming international quad netball series after switching allegiances to England.

The wing attack, who signed for the Adelaide Thunderbirds ahead of next year's inaugural Super Netball competition, qualifies for the Roses through her Yorkshire-born father.

Locke, nee Pitman, played 18 times for Australia including the victorious 2011 World Cup campaign, as well as winning the trans-Tasman championship with Queensland Firebirds the same year.

The 28-year-old took a break from netball in 2014 but has since played with England's Manchester Thunder and the Central Pulse in New Zealand.

Her husband is New Zealand rugby league international Kevin Locke, who is attempting to revive his NRL career via the Queensland Cup after signing with the Sunshine Coast Falcons.

Chelsea Locke is in line to make her England debut against South Africa in Durban in late January before matches against New Zealand and the Diamonds in England.

The series will be her first international tournament since the 2012 Constellation Cup and a timely hit-out ahead of Adelaide's Super Netball campaign beginning two weeks later.

Locke, who told her Twitter followers donning the Roses jersey "will feel amazing", will play alongside fellow Thunderbirds recruit Ama Agbeze, who is the England captain.

She is likely the first netballer to switch from Australia to England but not the first international player to change allegiances.

South Africans Irene van Dyk and Leane de Bruin ended their careers with New Zealand.

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