Rugby league star Shaun Johnson had a heartfelt message for his fiancée Kayla Cullen after she was snubbed from the Silver Ferns World Cup squad yesterday afternoon.

Cullen failed to earn a Ferns recall with a troublesome knee injury leaving too many question marks around her ability to handle the physical load of a World Cup schedule.

The same injury also kept Cullen out of the Silver Ferns Commonwealth Games campaign last year, after the Northern Stars defender struggled to bounce back from surgery.

Although the 27-year-old defender is yet to open up on her exclusion, Johnson was quick to offer his public support.


"I know you haven't had the best day and sport can suck at times but just know i wouldn't cram into a tiny cart made for kids with anyone else babe. Love riding this journey with you & always in your corner," Johnson wrote.

Earlier this month, the Herald revealed that Cullen was set to move across the ditch and join Johnson in Sydney.

The former Warriors half now plies his trade with the Cronulla Sharks in the NRL, after signing a three-year deal last year.

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

But 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.

Kayla Cullen of the Stars. Photo / Getty
Kayla Cullen of the Stars. Photo / Getty

A player can't play outside of this country and be selected for the Ferns, however, she wouldn't have to look far for examples of players flexibility with that rule.

Current Silver Ferns captain Laura Langman is playing for the Sunshine Coast Lightning and has been eligible for the Silver Ferns, while veteran shooter Maria Folau this season joined the Adelaide Thunderbirds and will also be allowed to represent New Zealand.

Cullen has at least one more outing with her current domestic franchise, the Stars in next week's playoffs against the Southern Steel.


If they manage to topple the defending champions, the Stars will proceed to the grand final against the Central Pulse.