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Netball Super League: Rachel Dunn discusses the situation at Wasps and the sadness felt by all at the club

Rachel Dunn joined Wasps in 2016 and has played in every Super League season since the competition's inception; England Netball and the Netball Players Association are in ongoing discussions 'exploring solutions to protect netball opportunities at community, pathway and elite level'

Rachel Dunn (Image credit: Ben Lumley)
Image: Rachel Dunn has been at the heart of Wasps Netball since their creation (Image credit: Ben Lumley)

Domestic and international stalwart Rachel Dunn speaks to Sky Sports about the situation at Wasps, the sadness felt by all and the uncertainty surrounding the Netball Super League.

Dunn played in her 250th Netball Super League game in March and has been part of the competition as an athlete since its inception. She joined Wasps in 2016 when Tamsin Greenway formed the outfit and became the club's director of netball.

On Monday, Wasps Holdings Limited, the holding company for Wasps men's and women's rugby teams, and Wasps Netball ceased trading. The administrators FRP said 167 employees had been made redundant, including all members of the playing squads and coaching staff.

For the men's rugby team, Rugby Football Union (RFU) regulations state that a club placed in administration during the season will be relegated for the following campaign, unless they can prove that it was a 'no-fault insolvency event'.

England Netball released a statement on Monday outlining their current position regarding the Super League.

"We had sincerely hoped that an appropriate solution could have been found to ensure the survival of Wasps Holdings Limited. Whilst we process exactly what this news means for the future of Wasps Netball, our thoughts are with the club, its players and their wider support team during this incredibly difficult time

"We will continue to work together with all relevant parties, including the Netball Players Association, and are committed to exploring solutions to protect netball opportunities at community, pathway and elite level."

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Dunn, who was due to start her seventh season with Wasps in 2023, shared a player's perspective.

"On the netball side, we don't know at the moment (what it means). It's unprecedented times for netball to be in this situation. I think there are a lot of meetings going on in the background," Dunn said to Sky Sports News.

"We're being supported by the Netball Players Association, England Netball and Wasps representatives that we used to work with. It's not even a day on from the events unfolding and, as I said, there are a lot of things going on in the background and hopefully at some point, it will become clear what our options are.

"With it being still so fresh and new, we're not sure where any of us stand at the moment."

The Netball Super League is in the pre-season phase ahead of the 2023 campaign, with the player signing window having closed on October 14.

Wasps had announced their squad for the 2023 season and were due to work under a new head coach, after Cat Tuivaiti was appointed in June. Tuivaiti was preparing for her first role as a head coach.

Stalwarts Dunn and Josie Huckle were due to be two of the more senior figures in Tuivaiti's squad, alongside fresh and exciting young talent.

"We were just about to get a new group together and there was excitement building in terms of what we could do next year," Dunn said.

"We were looking forward to getting back out on court together and there was just an overwhelming feeling of sadness, especially in the meeting we had (on Monday). Everyone is just trying to process the information at the moment, everyone is still in the shock phase.

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Wasps' Rachel Dunn and Scotland head coach Tamsin Greenway discuss the situation at Wasps

"Ideally, we want to stay as a team and play in the Netball Super League next year, if there's even a glimmer of hope we'll hold onto it.

"As I said, there are lots of ongoing discussions in the background. We would like to play as a team in the Super League next year and I think they're going to try and do everything they can to come up with a solution.

"It's unprecedented times and over the next few days we should get more information."

I'm gutted for all involved who have lost their jobs, it is insane to think about the amount of people had that news. It’s the personal stories as well. Rach, I’m sure she won’t mind me saying, turns 40 next month and this may have been her last season playing and it’s now about where that might be? She’s spent 20 years of her life playing top-class netball.
Tamsin Greenway

Dunn has been at the heart of English club and international netball for as long as most current fans can remember.

She made her debut for England in 2004 and produced an iconic moment at the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool when a sold-out M&S Bank Arena chanted her name and willed her on court.

If a Super League-level team is not located in the same area next season, Dunn is not sure what that would mean for her future in the sport.

"I don't know," she said. "It's the practicalities of the situation, I have more of a fixed location and what are the options out there? I think it throws it up for lots of people, a lot of people are trying to play in the World Cup next year and there's a lot of uncertainty for everyone.

"Personally, I need to see what options are and have time to process. The future is uncertain for a lot of people.

"It's a sad time. Wasps is a great club - they took on netball and got in the netball arena. Thanks to all the fans out there who supported all of the teams and hopefully there will be light and hope somewhere."

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