ILT Stadium Southland made a special tribute to retiring Southern Steel skipper Wendy Frew ahead of the defending champion's final ANZ Premiership home stadium clash next Wednesday night.

The Stadium will be temporarily renamed as 'Wendy Frew Stadium' for the elimination final to honour the 33-year-old veteran's loyal service to Southland netball.

What a surprise from our mates at ILT Stadium Southland this morning when we arrived at Steel HQ! Full credit on a...

Posted by Southern Steel on Monday, 30 July 2018

After a 16-year long career playing 174 games with the Steel and their predecessors, the Sting, Frew will lead her side for the final time on home ground next week as the proud Southlander eyes a spot in the grand final.

Lost for words at the announcement, Frew said the tribute was humbling.


"How do you actually put into words what a tribute like this means? It's very humbling," she said.

"For me, it is and always has been about the team – that doesn't change going into this game. I'm just absolutely stoked to be taking the court with my team-mates and plan to just embrace it all."

ILT Stadium Southland general manager Nigel Skelt said it felt right to honour Frew in this way.

Wendy Frew has played 174 games with the Southland side. Photo / Getty
Wendy Frew has played 174 games with the Southland side. Photo / Getty

"This is Wendy's home and she's played all of her netball here since day one. Without question, the venue is the hub of our Southland sporting community and the heart, determination and values shown here also reflect Wendy's life and the way she operates," he said.

"She's been a fantastic role model, not just for netball but sport in general across the province and New Zealand, so we think this is an incredibly fitting tribute for the dedication, work and loyalty she's always shown our community."

"This is the first time in our history we have taken this bold step and we wouldn't be able to achieve that without the support of our naming rights partner the Invercargill Licensing Trust and we are extremely grateful for that."

The Steel's opponent is yet to be revealed with both the Mainland Tactix and Northern Mystics in contention for third place on the Premiership ladder.

The Tactix currently lead the Mystics by two points, but if the Northerners secure a win over the Central Pulse tomorrow night, third place will be decided by percentage.