Sunshine Coast Lightning CEO Danielle Smith commended Taurua on the appointment and said the Club fully supported her in her endeavours.

“We are incredibly grateful to Noeline for the instrumental role she has played – and continues to play – in our Club’s development and success to date,” Smith said.

“We have worked closely with both Noeline and Netball New Zealand to afford her the opportunity to perform both roles and are confident she will be able to perform them both successfully.

“One of our core Club values is people, and we feel privileged to support her appointment to this esteemed national head coach position, particularly as throughout the process, Noeline never wavered in maintaining her full commitment to Lightning.

“Noeline’s work ethic, coaching expertise and people skills are second to none and we believe our Club can only benefit from her adopting this dual role as it will create additional opportunities for her to learn and grow as a coach.”

Smith said when considering the appointment, Sunshine Coast Lightning had consulted with Netball Australia and worked closely with the organisation to manage any questions and potential concerns about the dual appointment.

“It is obviously unprecedented for a Suncorp Super Netball League head coach to also be the head coach of an international team, so it was a learning process for us all,” she said.

“We are very pleased we have received the support of the Netball Australia board regarding Noeline’s continued appointment at Lightning.”

South Africa Proteas player and Sunshine Coast Lightning defender Karla Pretorius said she and the Lightning team were fully behind Taurua and she looked forward to seeing the competition heat up on the international stage.

“Like most athletes, I relish a challenge and I’m excited at the prospect of coming up against a new and improved New Zealand squad,” Pretorius said.

“Noeline is an incredible coach and with her skill and heart, I have no doubt she will add value to the Silver Ferns.

“While it will be surreal to see her on the opposing team’s bench in international competition, it’s ultimately no different to when I take on my Lightning teammates Steph Wood, Caitlin Bassett and Geva Mentor.

“I’m sure there will be some healthy rivalry, but ultimately, I welcome a hotly-contested international netball competition as it will only help to grow the professionalism and profile of the sport.”