Chelsea Pitman: Manchester Thunder sign Australia star

Superleague champions Manchester Thunder have signed Australia international Chelsea Pitman as their overseas player for the 2015 season.

The 26-year-old, who can play at goal attack, centre and wing attack, has signed a one-year contract.

She is currently taking a break from the sport to pursue a career in boxing.

Pitman's boyfriend is New Zealand rugby league full-back Kevin Locke, who recently moved to England after signing for Salford Red Devils.

Kevin Locke

Kevin Locke (centre) played for beaten finalists New Zealand at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup

Locke, 25, was due to join Salford at the start of the 2015 season on a three-year contract, but was released early from his contract at New Zealand Warriors and made a try-scoring debut for the Super League side at Huddersfield on 5 July.

Pitman's brother, Cameron, also plays rugby league for Championship side Leigh Centurions.

Sydney-born Pitman, who was part of the Australia squad that were crowned world champions in 2011, said: "I am extremely excited about joining the girls at Manchester Thunder and challenging myself to learn a different style of netball.

"It is a new chapter for me in a new country with a new team. I just can't wait."

Coach Tracey Neville added: "To recruit a world championship gold medallist to Manchester Thunder's squad for this coming season will, no doubt, bring a lift to the girls."

Thunder won their second Superleague title in three seasons in April, defeating Surrey Storm 49-48 in Worcester.