Laura Langman is taking a year away from netball, having been granted a release from her 2018 contract with the Sunshine Coast Lightning.

A veteran of 141 consecutive Test matches, Langman represented New Zealand from 2005-2016 but was ineligible for selection this year while playing in Australia.

Now, no side will be able to call on her expertise, with the experienced midcourter sitting out the next season, and returning to New Zealand.

"I have come to the decision that I am going to step away from netball in 2018," Langman said.


"At this point in time I have nothing concrete planned for next year, but I will put more energy into travel, work and family life at home.

"There were a lot of tears and a lot of thought put into this, but I am happy with my decision."

With Langman returning to New Zealand, there remains a chance that the 31-year-old could represent the Silver Ferns in the future.

She has represented New Zealand at three Netball World Cups (2007, 2011, 2015) and has not ruled out the possibility of a fourth tournament at England in 2019.

"Netball New Zealand is happy with the strategy and the team it has, so conversations need to take place for me to get back into the Silver Ferns," Langman explained.

"Sometimes as a player, these decisions are not in your control and I think to help me get through this tough time I have to approach it like a non-selection.

"To date, every decision I have made is to make myself a better player and a better person to represent New Zealand."

Lightning coach Noeline Taurua backed up that sentiment.

"Laura's return to New Zealand may open the door for a possible call-up to the Silver Ferns in the future.

"She is too good an athlete to be lost to netball and I hope she comes back to the sport when she is ready."