Scottish Sirens, Severn Stars, and Wasps have all been confirmed as new entrants to an expanded 10-franchise Vitality Superleague in 2017.
Last year’s eight-team competition was another huge success with Surrey Storm claiming their second consecutive title with victory over regular season table-toppers Manchester Thunder at a sold-out London Copper Box.
The 2017 Vitality Netball Superleague will start in February, with Super Saturday set to return and start the new campaign in style while England Netball have confirmed the full line-up that will contest next’s season competition.
There are three new teams joining the league in the shape of Scottish Sirens, Severn Stars and Wasps.
Monday’s announcement revealed the franchises with Thunder and Storm retaining their place alongside Celtic Dragons, Hertfordshire Mavericks, Loughborough Lightning, Team Bath and Team Northumbria.
England Netball chief executive officer Joanna Adams said: “We are thrilled to announce the new line-up for the 2017 Vitality Netball Superleague. Each team submitted an exceptional proposal which we are certain will make for an incredibly exciting season.
“The Superleague has continued to grow in popularity since its launch in 2005 and with record attendances and ticket sales last year, we were keen to make a bold move in growing the number of teams and the aspirations of all involved. We feel this line-up really achieves this.”
Speaking out on the three new franchises, who play in the league for the first time, Adams added: “In a ground-breaking move for England Netball and English sport, we are delighted to welcome the iconic sporting brand Wasps in to the league.
“We are sure they will be as keen to be competitive in their first season, as they always have been in rugby and we are sure that the other teams will relish the challenge.
“It is good news for the Severn region, as their team the Severn Stars will make their Superleague bow in 2017. Fans north of the border are able to celebrate having the best domestic action return to Glasgow from next season, with a newly formed team, the Scottish Sirens.”
2017 Superleague franchises
Neville Koopowitz, CEO at Vitality, title sponsor of the Vitality Netball Superleague, said: “We believe in the power of sport to help inspire people to live a healthy life, which is why we are delighted to support England Netball for the 2017 Vitality Netball Superleague.
“It’s great to see England Netball go from strength to strength and, with the addition of three new teams, this season promises to be the most exciting and competitive yet.”
Yorkshire Jets confirmed their absence in a statement over the weekend having not been awarded one of the spots and England Netball said: “We would like to place on record our appreciation of the work and dedication of all involved with Yorkshire Jets, who have not been offered a place in the league for the 2017 season.
“We will continue to work with Jets and the wider Yorkshire netball community to ensure talented players and coaches have the opportunity to develop and excel.
“We plan to work with them and other unsuccessful applicants to create a foundation that will allow them to join the league in a stronger position in the future, should expansion be possible.”