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  • New Zealand’s most successful ANZ Championship netball coach, Noeline Taurua, appointed inaugural coach of the Melbourne Storm – University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) backed netball franchise
  • Taurua boasts an enviable 72% winning record in the ANZ Championship and is the only New Zealand championship-winning coach
  • Storm/USC netball franchise set to compete in Australia’s new elite netball competition from 2017

New Zealand’s most successful ANZ Championship netball coach, Noeline Taurua, has agreed to terms as the inaugural head coach of the Sunshine Coast netball franchise that will compete in next year’s elite Australian competition.

Taurua will depart from her post at the helm of the Southern Steel to take up the position as coach of Sunshine Coast’s first national elite-level sporting team – a team that is being backed by Melbourne Storm and the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC).

The team, whose name is yet to be revealed, will compete in Australia’s new elite netball competition from 2017.

The Storm/USC netball franchise was announced in May by Netball Australia as a preferred bidder for one of three new team licences and is in the process of finalising its team participation agreement with the governing body.

Securing Taurua’s services for two years is a significant coup for the Sunshine Coast netball team, with the former Silver Fern in hot demand around the world at the conclusion of the ANZ Championship season.

Taurua, who played 34 Tests for New Zealand, took over the helm of the Steel in December 2015, claiming the minor premiership in her first season with an unbeaten record in the regular season.

Widely regarded as the best netball coach in her homeland, Taurua’s CV is impressive. She remains the only coach to lead a New Zealand side to an ANZ Championship title when she was in charge of the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic in 2012. The team made the finals series in each of the six years she was there. Taurua also boasts an enviable 72% winning record in the ANZ Championship.

Following her time at the Magic, Taurua took a two year break from coaching to complete a Masters of Science in performance coaching.

She returned to the ranks as an assistant with Northern Mystics for the 2015 season before taking the Steel head coach role.

Known for high standards and establishing a winning culture with focus on discipline, hard work and innovation it’s no surprise players enjoy playing under her leadership. Her coaching philosophies are similar to those of Storm NRL head coach Craig Bellamy with both sharing similar success in leading their teams to finals campaigns.

Melbourne Storm CEO Dave Donaghy said: “We are delighted to announce Noeline Taurua as head coach of the Sunshine Coast netball team.

“It’s a big coup for the club to have someone of Noeline’s standing and success. With 16 years high performance experience to lead our inaugural team, she was the right person for the job.

“With Noeline’s appointment the team will now commence player recruitment as part of the free agency period as we look to assemble an exciting and talented squad for the upcoming season.

“We look forward to introducing Noeline to the Sunshine Coast community – as well as the wider Australian netball community – in the coming weeks, as we make other major announcements.”

Taurua said: “The opportunity to come on board as the inaugural head coach of the Sunshine Coast netball team for the new Australian National Netball League is perfect timing for me.

“Having been involved in the ANZ Championship for nine years, the time was ripe for change and a new challenge.

“Coaching overseas has always been one of my goals and with the highly-regarded Melbourne Storm picking up the reins of the first ever national elite-level sport’s team to represent the Sunshine Coast, the timing was perfect to be part of a new venture and new era for netball.

“It doesn’t get any more exciting than moving to a new country to coach a brand new team in a ground-breaking competition. For that I am grateful and relishing the opportunity.”

USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill welcomed the coach appointment as an exciting next step in attracting champion players to the new team, to be based at the University’s Sports Stadium.

“Bringing a national league team to the Sunshine Coast in one of our region’s highest-participation sports fits perfectly with the University’s high performance sports strategy,” Professor Hill said.

“We look forward to Noeline Taurua joining our teaching and research colleagues in building a home for elite sports on the Sunshine Coast.”


Noeline Taurua CV


Southern Steel (December 2105 to August 2016)

- Head Coach               

Northern Mystics (February to December 2015)

- Specialist Coach

Northern Zone (February to December 2015)

- Performance Coach Specialist

Coach Consultant (2013 to current)

- Scotland Netball (Working with National Team)

- Cayman Islands (Rewriting National Strategic Plan and Constitution)

- Dubai Netball (Training and coaching sessions)

- Various coaching and training clinics throughout New Zealand

New Zealand Sports Academy, Rotorua (February 2014 to current)

Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, Tauranga (December 2001 to August 2013)

- Head Coach

- Player / Assistant Coach (2001)

Netball New Zealand

- Silver Ferns Assistant Coach, 2011, 2012

- NZU21 Assistant Coach 2005

- NZA Assistant Coach 2005

Bay of Plenty (2000-2002)

- Head Coach


Silver Ferns New Zealand Team 1993-1999

Wellington Representative 1989-1999

Waikato Representative 1999-2001

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.