Jacqui Russell Wraps Up Lightning Squad

Lightning has signed Queensland player, Jacqui Russell, as a Training Partner for the 2018 Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) season.

Russell, a former captain of Queensland Fusion will complete the Lightning training partner squad joining Emma Tickner, Steph O’Brien and Binnian Hunt.

The four training partners have joined Lightning on their pre-season trip to New Zealand this week, where the team will go up against Noeline Taurua’s former side Southern Steel in two exhibition matches.

Assistant Coach Kylee Byrne worked closely with Russell during her time as Captain of Fusion and said “Jacqui has always been one of those players who constantly assesses how to beat her opponent and win the one-on-one battle on the court.

With an extremely high work rate, Jacqui brings so much experience to our Lightning environment and will challenge every athlete that she comes up against in training and in matches.

She has been underutilised in Australia in the past and honed her skills with some time in the English Superleague. She will fit the Lightning style on and off the court effortlessly and any opportunity she gets to showcase her relentless defensive style and fluent attacking skill, she will take with both hands.”

Russell said, “being appointed to the reigning premiers squad is something I’m extremely excited about. I’ve played with the Firebirds previously and having the opportunity to play for another team at the elite level in Queensland, my home state, is fantastic and something I’m looking forward to being a part of.

“The chance to work with Kylee again as well as Noeline for the first time is a unique opportunity. I’m thrilled to be getting out on court in New Zealand whether it be training or match play. It will be a really tight competition between the Lightning and Steel teams, both being the winners of their respective 2017 competitions.

I can’t wait to get to know everyone and see how everything works. To date everything appears very sleek and organised and it’s nice to see everything at such a high level.”

Lightning will take on Southern Steel in Dunedin tonight at 7.00pm and at Invercargill tomorrow night at 7.30pm (New Zealand times).