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The Northern Stars have welcomed back a significant returnee.
Kayla Johnson (nee Cullen) has returned to the Auckland team for next year’s ANZ Premiership.
Johnson (29) has spent the past two years in Australia with her rugby league player husband Shaun Johnson.
She joined the New South Wales Swifts late in 2019 as a replacement player, but missed last year due to pregnancy.
This year she returned via the South Coast Blaze in the New South Wales Premier League.
Prior to that she had played three years with the Stars, her final game being its 2019 ANZ Premiership final loss to the Central Pulse.
She brings an elite presence to the Stars’ defensive end, with the ability to slide between wing defence and goal defence.
She joins Holly Fowler as the other addition to the team.
Fowler, who also slides between wing defence and goal defence, returns to the team after two years at the Magic.
Monica Falkner and Oceane Maihi are the only departures from this year’s squad.
That means it brings back stars such as Maia Wilson, Gina Crampton and Jamie Hume.