Tenacious defender Rachel Rasmussen will inject considerable experience into the ranks of the Southern Steel next season.
The 28-year-old has spent the majority of her trans-Tasman netball career with the Northern Mystics since 2008, with the exception of a brief stint with the Pulse in 2010.
She was eager to venture south to Steel, where she will link up with fellow defenders Storm Purvis, Sulu Tone-Fitzpatrick and Phoenix Karaka - who also emerged through Auckland's age- group system before heading south.
"I'm very excited and a little bit nervous at the same time," Rasmussen said.
"Living in Invercargill is going to be a different environment for this city girl, but I know from talking to [former Steel players] Sheryl Scanlan and Paula Griffin that they really enjoyed their time down there, being part of the community, so it will be awesome.
"With the exception of netball games, the furthest south I've been is probably Blenheim."
She was impressed with Steel's playing roster for next season.
"They've got an exciting bunch of young talent in there and some great experience as well so it's a good mix," she said.
"I'm really looking forward to sharing the knowledge I have.
"I know, in turn, I will learn a lot from the young defenders as well. I have a few things in the old bag of tricks to share," she said.
Mother to two children aged 8 and 6, Rasmussen was preparing to shift the family across the ditch to join her partner in Perth in January, but a call from the Steel prompted a change of plans.
"Playing for Steel really was too good an opportunity to pass up."
Rasmussen's signing means the Steel have one spot available in their squad for next season, which they will use on a shooter.
Southern Steel: Shooters: Jodi Brown, Te Paea Selby-Rickit, Kate Shearer. Midcourters: Courtney Tairi, Wendy Frew, Shannon Francois, Phillipa Finch, Gina Crampton, Stacey Peeters. Defenders: Storm Purvis, Sulu Tone-Fitzpatrick, Phoenix Karaka, Rachel Rasmussen.
- The Southland Times