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Lightning storm into new netball comp

AAP logoAAP 17/08/2016 By Vince Rugari

The Melbourne Storm-backed side entering the new eight-team all-Australian netball league next year will be known as Sunshine Coast Lightning.

The team's name, logo and colour scheme were unveiled on Wednesday at a ceremony in front of about 300 people at the University of Sunshine Coast in Sippy Downs, where they will play their home games.

The Lightning - a joint venture between the Storm and the university - has adopted the NRL team's colours of yellow and purple but will wear a predominantly yellow playing strip, ensuring there is no clash with new arch-rivals the Queensland Firebirds.

"Right from the outset, we said this team and region needed its own identity," Storm CEO Dave Donaghy said.

"The risk if you call a team 'Storm' is it's not as big as the rugby league vehicle.

"We obviously wanted to keep links, we think that's a nice connection."

The 'Lightning' name is already used by WNBL team Adelaide Lightning but Donaghy said it would not be an issue as there is a "clear delineation" between the two teams.

The Lightning are one of three new teams, along with franchises supported by AFL clubs Collingwood and Greater Western Sydney, who will join the five existing Australian teams from the trans-Tasman competition to form the new league.

Coach Noeline Taurua, who has been lured to the Sunshine Coast from the Southern Steel, said she was excited by the "massive" challenge of starting a side from scratch.

She said the Lightning would not be seeking to knock the champion Firebirds off their perch any more than the rest of the league will be.

"There's so much respect for them," she said.

"They're a success in their own right and everyone in this competition is going to be after them.

"All we can do is worry about ourselves in regards to putting a really good product out on court that we're proud of."

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