Kangaroo Island netball star Georgie Horjus is heading to Queensland to play for the Adelaide Thunderbirds in the Suncorp Super Netball season that starts Saturday.
Horjus was named as a training partner for the Thunderbirds back in March, along with fellow South Australian emerging talent Tayla Williams and Chelsea Blackman.
The trio, who have all progressed through the Netball SA pathway, were also named in the squad of 24 selected in preparation for the Netball World Youth Cup in June of 2021.
New border restrictions announced this week by the Queensland Government will see a number of changes to Round 1 of the Suncorp Super Netball season that starts Saturday, August 1.
Round 1 will now see GIANTS Netball and the NSW Swifts meet in a derby clash on Sunday at 1pm AEST at Queensland's Nissan Arena and the Adelaide Thunderbirds and West Coast Fever will face off in the other changed match-up as part of a double-header on Saturday afternoon at 3pm AEST.
The Queensland Firebirds and Sunshine Coast Lightning will still open the season with a Queensland derby on Saturday at 1pm AEST and the Melbourne Vixens and Collingwood Magpies will play on Sunday evening at 5pm AEST during their final hours of quarantine.
The league will now review player health and welfare, load and travel requirements before announcing any further changes to rounds 2 to 6.
Suncorp Super Netball CEO Chris Symington said while the changes were unfortunate, the fixture was designed to deal with the uncertainties of a constantly-shifting public health crisis and that the league, clubs and players remained committed to ensuring a full, safe and competitive season can be conducted.
''The league has understood from the beginning that this season would need to be flexible to ensure we're able to carry out a full 60-match competition and we have created a system and fixture to deal with the uncertainty of this health emergency," he said.
"The health and safety of all players, officials and support staff is paramount and by moving all scheduled matches to Queensland this weekend and beyond, we're ensuring this safety, along with the sustainability of the season.
"We thank all of our players, officials and support staff, especially those based in New South Wales today, for being so flexible with the circumstances we're facing. We understand it isn't easy to leave home for an extended period at short notice and we will ensure the league is adequately supporting these teams."
With the Swifts and GIANTS due to fly to Queensland tomorrow, Netball New South Wales CEO Carolyn Campbell said it is very disappointing for club members who were looking forward to seeing their team play at their new home of Ken Rosewall Arena this weekend.
"I know that the players from both clubs love the connection they have with netball fans across the state and not getting the opportunity to play in Sydney this weekend will be a big blow for them too," she said.
"However, we have always said we'd do what was necessary to make a season happen in 2020 and the playing group are a credit to us. They are exceptional professionals and will take this in their stride to do what is good for the bigger picture. I would like to thank our players, coaches and club staff for their continued commitment, innovation, flexibility and willingness to get things done."
She also said she looked forward to the second phase of the fixture when a number of Swifts and GIANTS games could potentially return to NSW pending medical advice and border restrictions.
"We have not given up on having home games for both the Swifts and the GIANTS this year in Sydney. As the events of today show, the situation is fluid and we will be doing everything in our power to bring games to Sydney when the second round of fixtures is released."
The Suncorp Super Netball season starts on Saturday with a double-header at Brisbane's Nissan Arena. All matches can be watched live on Nine, Telstra TV or the Netball Live Official App.