Nia signs for Rhinos
Leeds Rhinos Netball have announced Welsh international Nia Jones as the fifth player to join their squad for the upcoming Vitality Netball Super League season.
The 30-year old has signed from Celtic Dragons where she was captain last season. She comes with a wealth of experience, both in Superleague and at an international level, and this year won her 53rd cap for Wales at the Commonwealth Games.
The Wrexham-born player can cover Goal Defence and Wing Defence and started her early playing career started with Mold Netball Club. She first earned honors with Wales as captain of the Under-17 and Under-21 sides before going onto gain her first full cap and later becoming co-captain of Wales.
After playing netball at Cardiff Met University, where she won the BUCS league, Jones joined Celtic Dragons for the first time in 2013. After three seasons she temporarily left the sport to pursue a professional football career with Reading in 2015, after previously playing for Cardiff City. In football she also won 30 caps for her country. She re-signed for Dragons in 2017, before moving to Severn Stars in 2020 and then returned to captain the Dragons last season.
Speaking about her deal with the Rhinos Jones said: “I’m ecstatic to be joining the Rhinos. I was fortunate enough to play with Liana Leota for a couple of years at Severn Stars and I just think she is a wonderful person and we know how magic she was on the court as a player and I have no doubt that she will be a fantastic coach and leader so I couldn’t turn down an opportunity to work with her and be part of an exciting squad that she has assembled.
“I remember when there was a Leeds Carnegie and a Yorkshire Jets side in the competition and it’s such a passionate area for netball and sport so I think it’s fantastic that the region has another team represented in Superleague.
“I am from North Wales so it’s not too far from the North of England and everybody is down to earth and has a good sense of humour and is keen on hard work as well, which are the things I pride myself on, so I am looking forward to it. They have challenged for the top four in the last couple of years. I have not moved up here to be cruising around the bottom of the league and I do see us in with a chance of top four.”
Leeds Rhinos Netball head coach Liana Leota said: “I am delighted to bring Nia to the Rhinos. I know her well from her time at Stars. She brings leadership and is a great team player. She is a hard worker and is the one that will grind right to the end. I think whenever she plays she always has a presence about her and us demanding of herself and from others and that’s what we want as part of our team.”
Jones joins Brie Grierson, Vicki Oyesola, Michelle Magee and Rosie Harris as the confirmed signing for the 2023 Leeds Rhinos Netball team.