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Swifts lose Haythornthwaite and Eddy for Giants clash

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The NSW Swifts have been dealt a double injury blow ahead of their Suncorp Super Netball opener against the Giants on Sunday, with England wing attack Natalie Haythornthwaite and young goal defence Kate Eddy both ruled out.

Haythornthwaite is suffering from a hamstring injury, the extent of which is still being assessed by medical staff, while Eddy is nursing a groin strain.

Commonwealth Gold medal winner Haythornthwaite was injured in the Swifts’ pre-season win over the Giants last week with a return-to-play date still to be determined.

Eddy, meanwhile, has been ruled out as a precaution and is expected to be fit for the Swifts’ Round 2 clash with the Thunderbirds next week.

2019 training partners Sophie Halpin and Tayla Fraser have been called into the squad as temporary replacements for this Sunday’s NSW derby at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena.

Head coach Briony Akle said she was disappointed to lose two key players ahead of the derby, but has full confidence in her wider squad.

"It’s never ideal to lose two of your main roster for the opening game of the season but that’s the nature of professional sport," she said.

"We are still working with our medical staff to see how long Nat will be sidelined for, but she’s in great hands and we’ll have a better idea of her return soon.

"With Kate it’s about not risking a key player very early in the season. She probably could play this week, but it’s a risk, and you don’t want to aggravate something in Round 1.

"Sophie has played numerous Super Netball games for the Swifts and is comfortable at the top level, while Tayla is one of the best prospects in Australian netball, and trains with the Swifts daily, so we’re well stocked."

The Swifts and Giants Round 1 opener will be broadcast live on Channel Nine this Sunday, 28 April, at 1pm.

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