England Netball

Josie Huckle was thrilled to make her Roses debut in England’s 61-48 win against Scotland in Netball Europe on Friday.

It was a pretty perfect first cap for the Wasps Netball star – named in the starting 7, playing the full 60 minutes, getting the win and her family were in Cardiff to cheer her on.

Speaking post-match, she said: “It was really exciting!

“Nothing like a game I’ve ever played before – it was actually really quite tiring!

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“It was amazing to get out on court with the girls and just really exciting to actually pull on the red dress and play.

“Getting the full 60 minutes was just the cherry on top of the cake!

“Mum and dad always come and watch everything and my grandparents live around here as well.”

Three other players – Vicki Oyesola, George Fisher and Gabby Marshall – also won their first caps against Scotland.

With strong attacking and defensive displays, it was a job well done and a solid start for the Roses in their quest to defend their Netball Europe title.

Reflecting on the opener against the Thistles, Huckle said: “We ground that out, we kept going and when they got a bit of a lead on us in the first quarter, we didn’t let that get to us.

“We pulled it back and we kept fighting through it.

“We adapted to combinations that came on really well and we were just building and learning together.

“It was the first time we played as that unit together – we’ve only had a three-day camp before coming to this – so it’s just about building and learning.

“As Tania (Obst) said, there’s lots of things to work on!”

Two games in one day didn’t phase the Roses as they returned to court on Friday evening and beat Northern Ireland 75-44 – a result that will undoubtedly have had the netball family grinning on World Smile Day.

The second game also gave Summer Artman the opportunity to make her Roses debut.

Huckle will be hoping to take to court again over the weekend and stressed how significant a springboard Netball Europe is for her in putting herself in contention for future selection.

She said: “It’s massively important.

“It’s given me the opportunity to get my first cap, to be part of the England team and to play for the Roses.

“It’s good for me to feel what it’s like to play in an England team and then look forward to the next couple of years.”

The Roses are next in action against Fiji on Saturday at 6pm.

Follow the England Roses at Netball Europe on our official @England_Netball Twitter account and watch live on our Facebook page or via BBC Sport.

England are next in action on home soil for the three-match Vitality Netball International Series against Malawi this November, get your tickets now!

#WeAreRoses

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