5 Jun 2014

Van Dyk retires

12:18 pm on 5 June 2014

Netball's most capped international player, Silver Fern shooter Irene van Dyk has announced her retirement from the international game.

Van Dyk's decision comes seven weeks out from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, where the Silver Ferns are the reigning gold medallists.

Van Dyk, who's 41, says the decision was an agonising one to make.

She says with the Commonwealth Games and next year's World Cup on the horizon she needs to be better than the best.

Van Dyk says her match statistics over the past few months in the ANZ Championship are simply not good enough to justify her playing at international level.

Silver Ferns coach Waimarama Taumaunu says she understands and respects van Dyk's decision.

While retiring from the Silver Ferns van Dyk says she's still keen to play in next year's trans-Tasman competition.

Van Dyk's international career is second to none, amassing an incredible 217 test caps spanning a 20 year period.

She played 72 tests for South Africa after first being selected in 1994, the highlight being the win over New Zealand in the semi-finals of the Netball World Championships in Birmingham and going on to claim the silver medal against Australia.

She moved to New Zealand in 2000 becoming the most capped Silver Fern of all time with 145 appearances for New Zealand.

Van Dyk competed in five Netball World Championships during her career, in 1995 and 1999 for South Africa and 2003, 2007 and 2011 for the Silver Ferns, winning gold in 2003.

In that same year, van Dyk won the prestigious Sportswoman of The Year trophy at the Halberg Awards which recognises the best in New Zealand sport.

She has also competed at four Commonwealth Games, in 1998 with South Africa and 2002, 2006 and 2010 for the Silver Ferns. She was in both gold medal winning New Zealand teams to stand atop the podium in Melbourne, 2006 and Delhi, 2010.

In the 2009 Queen's Birthday Honours List, van Dyk was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to Netball.