Ingles’ career taking a pregnant pause

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Australian Diamonds and Adelaide Thunderbirds star Renae Ingles (nee Hallinan) is putting her netball career on hold after announcing she and husband Joe are expecting twins later this year.

Ingles will not play in the ANZ Championship for the Thunderbirds this season and be unavailable for Diamonds selection for their next international campaign later this year.

However she intends to return to the court in 2017.

“I have so many mixed feelings,” Ingles said.

“I’m excited and it’s wonderful news for Joe and I – and our families – but at the same time I’m genuinely disappointed to miss an ANZ Championship season.”

Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander was told the news while in England and is thrilled for Ingles and Joe.

“It’s really wonderful news for Renae and Joe and nobody is happier than myself. I know that all the Diamonds staff and athletes will be over the moon for the pair,” Alexander said.

Ingles, who has played more than 150 matches at domestic level in Australia, made her international debut against New Zealand in Sydney on 6 September, 2009 and has played 67 Tests for the Diamonds.

In 2013 she was named winner of the Liz Ellis Diamond and was an instrumental part of Australia winning the Gold Medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the 2015 Netball World Cup in Sydney.

Renowned as one of the world’s leading wing defenders, Ingles has also captained the Thunderbirds in the ANZ Championship the past two seasons.

Alexander said Australia’s recent 3-0 series victory over England highlighted the depth to be able to cover Ingles’ on-court absence when the Diamonds next take to the court.

“That’s what happens in sport; you sometimes have curve balls thrown at you and you’ve got to have the depth to cover athletes,” Alexander said.

“We’ve shown in this series we have the athletes to do that and we’ll welcome Renae back into the fold when she’s ready.

“She’s very keen to continue her international career, which is fantastic news. When she’s ready, we’ll welcome her back into the squad.”

Ingles plans to assist the Thunderbirds in an off-court role this season and Alexander is eager to use her in a similar way with the Diamonds as they prepare for the Quad Series against New Zealand, England and South Africa and then the Constellation Cup against the Silver Ferns.

Ingles, who has captained the Thunderbirds for the past two seasons, hopes to continue with the club in an off-court tole this year.

“While I won’t be on court, I’m eager to play a pro-active role in the team and give whatever support I can to (Thunderbirds coach) Michelle (den Dekker) and the coaching staff,” Ingles said.

“I’ll be the number one fan in the stands until I’m ready to return in 2017.”