Silver Ferns defender Kayla Cullen won't be joining fiancé Shaun Johnson over the ditch next year, as she remains committed to playing another netball season in New Zealand.

Johnson signed a three-year deal with the Cronulla Sharks last week, just three days after being released by the Warriors.

The Kiwi NRL star's long-term move to Sydney raised suspicion that Cullen would follow and play in Australia's Super Netball competition.

However, Northern Stars general manager Dianne Lasenby confirmed Cullen's full-time commitment to the South Auckland franchise for the 2019 domestic season, following the 26-year-old's return to the court after battling an ongoing knee injury.


"The Northern Stars and Kayla Cullen are fully committed to the 2019 ANZ Premiership season," she said. "The franchise will support Kayla 100 per cent on and off the court as she strives to return to playing in Stars colours following a frustrating time on the sideline with injury."

Although pledging her allegiance, the long-distance pressure on the recently-engaged couple's relationship could mean fewer appearances, if not none, from Cullen in future ANZ Premiership seasons and potentially the Silver Ferns.

Silver Ferns sharpshooter Maria Folau made herself available for only a limited number of games for the Northern Mystics this year, as she tried to better balance her time in Auckland while based in Sydney with husband and Wallabies star Israel Folau.

But the constant travel still took its toll, with the 128-test veteran now permanently relocated in Australia and set to play a Super Netball season with the Adelaide Thunderbirds.

If Cullen was to eventually sign with an Australian franchise, she would need to seek exemption from Netball New Zealand to remain eligible for future Ferns selection.

So far, only Folau and Silver Ferns captain Laura Langman have been given the nod to do so. Netball New Zealand confirmed Cullen had not yet applied for an exemption.

Last week, Cullen voiced her support for Johnson on Instagram.

"So happy to see you sign with an amazing club that supports you and your dreams! Proud of you always," she wrote.