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Conway and Thornton were both part of the Adelaide Strikers in the BBL and have joined South Australia for more opportunities in the Sheffield Shield and Marsh Cup.
Conway, 29, has played 38 first-class matches - and reached Australia A level - but struggled for continuity in New South Wales playing just five matches last season while Thornton, 25, had left NSW last winter to search for opportunities in Victoria. He played four Marsh Cup games last season and was named Victoria's Marsh Cup player of the season despite only taking five wickets. But he made his name as a replacement player in the BBL for Strikers taking 14 wickets in nine games in 2021-22 including 4 for 26 against Melbourne Stars.
Both men join a South Australia squad that is starting to build fast-bowling depth after the recruitment of Nathan McAndrew and Brendan Doggett last season, which offsets the loss of Daniel Worrall and Joe Mennie, who have both moved to the UK, and Kane Richardson who has moved to Queensland.
"It's so exciting that lads come and spend time at the Strikers and feel South Australia is a great place to be," South Australia coach Jason Gillespie said. "It's wonderful to be able to get these guys over. Henry got drafted into the second half of the BBL and I thought he did remarkably well. He fit in so well to the group. He clearly enjoyed himself. The players enjoyed playing with him and it is fantastic to have him here.
"Henry brings airspeed. He pitches the ball up and moves it away from the right-handers at pace. Harry is a tall fast bowler with plenty of skills. He can move the ball off the straight but also the height and bounce he can generate is fantastic. He's also a big personality who aspires to be a leader around the group. He wants to be a leader and that is fantastic."
Manenti, 25, adds to South Australia's thin spin stocks after making his first-class debut for Tasmania late last season. Manenti, originally from NSW, has been a regular in the Sydney Sixers squad over the last four seasons in the BBL but finally made his List A and first-class for Tasmania.
"We've had our eye on Ben for a little while now, and what we are really excited about is his competitive nature and how he goes about his work," Gillespie said. "He is a really competitive guy who plays to win, and we know that energy will add significantly to the squad."
South Australia played their last two Shield games last season without a specialist spinner, with legspinner Lloyd Pope still taking time to develop but he remains on SA's list. Thomas Kelly and Jordan Buckingham have been upgraded to the main list after making their Shield debuts last season.
The Redbacks have recruited some young batters with Australia Under-19 right-hander Aidan Cahill moving from NSW on a rookie deal.
Elsewhere, former Australia quick Holly Ferling has moved from Queensland to the ACT for the coming WNCL season. Ferling, 26, adds plenty of international experience to the Meteors after the retirement of veteran Erin Osborne.
"Whilst she is an extremely accomplished cricketer, having made 34 appearances for Australia across all formats, she is also a wonderful leader and will be a great mentor for some of our younger players," ACT coach Jono Dean said.
Former New Zealand wicketkeeper-batter Rachel Priest and one-time Australia ODI seamer Belinda Vakarewa have not been offered new contracts with WNCL title-holders Tasmania while Corinne Hall has retired. Rachel Trenamen has moved from NSW to Tasmania while Saskia Horley has taken her place on the NSW Breakers' contract list.
South Australia men's contract list Wes Agar, Jordan Buckingham, Kyle Brazell, Aidan Cahill, Alex Carey (CA), Bailey Capel, Jake Carder, Harry Conway, Brendan Doggett, Daniel Drew, David Grant, Travis Head (CA), Isaac Higgins, Henry Hunt, Spencer Johnson, Thomas Kelly, Ryan King, Jake Lehmann, Nathan McAndrew, Nathan McSweeney, Ben Manenti, Harry Mathias, Harry Nielsen, Lloyd Pope, Liam Scott, Henry Thornton, Jake Weatherald, Nick Winter.
In Harry Conway (NSW), Spencer Johnson, Thomas Kelly, Ben Manenti, Henry Thornton | Out Ryan Gibson, Corey Kelly, Sam Kerber, Joe Mennie, Kane Richardson (Queensland), Daniel Worrall (Surrey).
South Australia women's contract list Jemma Barsby, Sam Betts, Darcie Brown (CA), Emma de Broughe, Josie Dooley, Ellie Falconer, Paris Hall, Brooke Harris, Tahlia McGrath (CA), Annie O'Neil, Bridget Patterson, Madeline Penna, Kate Peterson, Megan Schutt (CA), Courtney Webb, Amanda-Jade Wellington, Ella Wilson
In Madeline Penna, Ella Wilson, Paris Hall | Out Tegan McPharlin (retired), Alex Price, Eliza Doddridge
ACT women's contract list: Angela Reakes, Katie Mack, Kayla Burton, Gabrielle Sutcliffe, Chloe Rafferty, Carly Leeson, Matilda Lugg, Olivia Porter, Rebecca Carter, Amy Yates, Zoe Cooke, Holly Ferling, Alisha Bates, Angelina Genford, Annie Wikman
In Holly Ferling (Queensland), Alisha Bates, Annie Wikman, Angelina Genford | Out Erin Osborne (retired), Madeline Penna (South Australia), Nicola Hancock, Erica Kershaw
Tasmania women's contract list: Nicola Carey (CA), Julia Cavanough, Maisy Gibson, Heather Graham, Emma Manix-Geeves, Sasha Moloney, Clare Scott, Hayley Silver-Holmes, Amy Smith, Naomi Stalenberg, Molly Strano, Emma Thompson, Rachel Trenaman, Elyse Villani, Callie Wilson.
In Rachel Trenaman (New South Wales), Clare Scott, Callie Wilson, Julia Cavanough | Out Corinne Hall (retired), Chloe Abel, Rachel Priest, Emily Smith, Belinda Vakarewa.
NSW Women's contract list: Jade Allen, Maitlan Brown, Erin Burns, Stella Campbell, Lauren Cheatle, Hannah Darlington, Ashleigh Gardner (CA), Rachael Haynes (CA), Alyssa Healy (CA), Saskia Horley, Emma Hughes, Sammy Jo-Johnson, Anika Learoyd, Phoebe Litchfield, Claire Moore, Lauren Smith, Tahlia Wilson.
In Saskia Horley | Out Rachel Trenaman (Tasmania)