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Netball

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Langman says import rules boost netball

New Zealand skipper Laura Langman says Australia's rising stars and the world game have benefited from Super Netball's unlimited import rules.

The current rules have been criticised in some quarters for restricting the amount of court time for young Australian players, with some teams stacking their roster with international stars, particularly in the goal circle.

Almost half of Super Netball's shooters are international players, leaving young Australians on the bench.

Back in 2017 when the competition was set up Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander wanted imports capped at two per team but was overruled.

In her fourth season with Sunshine Coast Lightning, Langman acknowledges she's benefited from the current rules but feels it's good for the game.

"For me, it comes down to what the purpose of Super Netball was and from my understanding, it was to be the best netball competition in the world," Langman told AAP.

"I feel like the unlimited import rule lives to that - it creates competition as teams want the best of the best, hence why there are potentially international players in those spots."

The midcourt ace sees that some could feel it prevents a pathway into the Australian team, but says the young players are learning from the world's best.

"Those potential Australian players are training partners and rubbing shoulders with these international greats and that's wonderful for their development as a player and also their leadership skills," Langman said.

"It's a fantastic learning opportunity and if the objective is to be the best competition in the world, then you want to attract the best players."

Langman said it had also strengthened international netball rather than just the Silver Ferns and Australia easily dominating every tournament.

"Super Netball has done world netball absolute wonders and as a player, I can't thank them enough.

"It's really opened up and taken netball to a new level and the next step is playing in professional competitions all year round or even the Olympics in 20 years time and that's exciting."

--End of article--

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