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21st of July 2018


Kiwi star Cat out of bag for T-Birds debut

GUN New Zealand shooter Cat Tuivaiti will finally make her debut for Adelaide Thunderbirds after being named in the side to front Collingwood Magpies at the Entertainment Centre on Sunday.

The former Kiwi international had her Super Netball stint put on hold while she recovered from a knee reconstruction after rupturing her ACL in her final appearance for Wellington-based Central Pulse.

Tuivaiti has used the Australian Netball League to get court time in preparation for a return to the elite level and Thunderbirds coach Dan Ryan told her of her selection on Tuesday night.

“I’m really excited and this is what I came here for,” Tuivaiti said. “I’m very confident in my knee and what I have done in my rehab to compete physically.

“I don’t recommend anyone hurting themselves soon, it has been horrible. The first round hurt watching from the stands, but not as much as the fourth round when I had been told I’d be back.

“I needed to reset my goals and make sure I was back playing netball, anything else was a bonus and this week is a bonus.”

Tuivaiti has endured most of her rehab in Adelaide to give herself the best chance to be ready to get on court for the Thunderbirds, who have yet to win this season.

Leaving her husband, family and friends in NZ was the toughest part of her lengthy recovery process, but now she is confident of having an impact.

“I have to be confident, that is part of my job,” she said. “I would not have come over here and gone through all the hard stuff just to be okay at what I do.

“Our results this year have not been good, but it is not through a lack of trying. I don’t want you change anything, but I could add something different and that be might what we need.”

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