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Hadley back and Fawns In

NSW Swifts co-captain Paige Hadley will return to the defending champions’ game-day squad for this Saturday’s Round 3 Suncorp Super Netball clash with the Collingwood Magpies.

The two-time Premiership and World Cup winner missed last week’s narrow loss to the Melbourne Vixens after testing positive to COVID-19.

However the midcourter only suffered mild symptoms and has now returned to the team environment ahead of Saturday night as the Premiers look to kick-start their title defence after suffering back-to-back losses and a season-ending injury to Club MVP Sam Wallace.

Young Wagga Wagga native Sophie Fawns, who debuted against the Vixens in Round 2, has been retained for the Collingwood clash as a temporary replacement player for Wallace.

Both NSW and the Magpies are seeking their first wins of the season with former Swifts double Premiership winner Sophie Garbin returning to Sydney to face her old club for the first time.

The Round 3 clash will also be the Swifts’ Heritage Round with the team donning their annual yellow-and-blue Heritage Dress, the original colours the Club wore when it was founded as the Sydney Swifts in 1997.

Swifts Head Coach Briony Akle is delighted to welcome Hadley back to her team.

“Paige is a world class player and a real heartbeat of the team so having her back is a huge boost for everyone in our squad,” she said.

“She’s feeling really good and chomping at the bit to get out on court. A hungry Hadley is a weapon you always want in your armoury and I think we’ll get some extra fluidity in our attack with her in.

“Paigey is a Swifts centurion, a double champion and is not only a leader in this current side but a huge part of the wider Club legacy so it’s special to have back for Heritage Round which celebrates all 26 years of the Swifts.

“On court, Collingwood have top players in Kelsey Browne, Ash Brazill and Molly Jovic in their engine room so Paigey and Maddy Proud’s combination is vital to allow Tayla Fraser and Allie Smith focus on their specific roles.

“Our defence is doing a phenomenal job and while our attack has taken injury blows our connections are getting stronger game by game.”

The Swifts and Magpies clash will be broadcast live on SKY SPORTS ARENA at 9:45am on Saturday

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