Vitality Roses selected for Fast5 Netball World Series 2023 in New Zealand

A 10-strong squad has been selected to represent the Vitality Roses at the FAST5 Netball World Series in Christchurch, New Zealand from 11-12 November.

FAST5 is a shorter, faster-paced version of the game with five players on each side.

England, who finished fourth last year, will come up against the other sides ranked in the world’s top six nations: New Zealand, Australia, Jamaica, South Africa and Malawi.

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The six teams will go head-to-head in preliminary matches before competing for final placings on the last day.

The squad includes seven of the players who were selected to play in the Taini Jamison Trophy against New Zealand at the end of September.

Razia Quashie has been named in her first England squad since 2020, returning to the fold after an impressive 2023 Netball Super League campaign with Saracens Mavericks that followed a couple of seasons cut short by an Achilles injury. For Manchester Thunder teammates Taylor McKevitt and Paige Reed, this will be their second trip as senior Roses to New Zealand after competing in last year’s FAST5.

Name Franchise Position
Ella Bowen Manchester Thunder GD, GK
Taylor McKevitt Manchester Thunder C
Berri Neil London Pulse GA, GS
Vicki Oyesola Saracens Mavericks GD, GK
Jayda Pechova Team Bath GK, GD
Razia Quashie Saracens Mavericks GK, GD
Ellie Rattu Saracens Mavericks C
Paige Reed Manchester Thunder GS, GA
Alicia Scholes London Pulse C
Emma Thacker Saracens Mavericks GA, GS

Reserves: Ashleigh Dekker and Lois Pearson

Vitality Roses Assistant Coach Sonia Mkoloma will lead a coaching and staff team with Jo Harten as her assistant. Vitality Roses Head Coach Jess Thirlby will be continuing to work with the remaining Vitality Roses and Future Roses in camps back in the UK during this time as we prepare for the three-match home series against South Africa in December 2023.

Speaking on the announcement, Sonia Mkoloma said: “I am looking forward to leading the FAST5 Vitality Roses in New Zealand. They are a team made up of exciting talent, returning FAST5 favourites and this will pose a great opportunity for them to showcase their talents on the FAST5 stage.

“FAST5 is a competition like no other and provides players with the opportunity to express themselves and build confidence through a dynamic form of the game. They will also get to play in front of a lively crowd which is brilliant not only for our sport but for their development as they gain more experience playing on the international stage.”

Vitality Roses Head Coach Jess Thirlby added: “It’s been great to welcome FAST5 back into the international calendar. I’m really looking forward to seeing the team not only embrace this exciting format of the game but also gain valuable experience on an international stage, competing against the world’s best.

“We enjoyed some success last year and many of those players have gone on to represent the Roses recently in the series away in New Zealand so we have seen and felt the value and return of opportunities like this. We have big ambitions longer term and competitions like FAST5 are very much part of our strategic thinking for both our squad and coach development in order that the Roses can achieve success. It provides another great opportunity for all our players to continue to make a case for selection for our home series against South Africa in December. Having been at the event last year I can speak first-hand about what great hosts New Zealand are, with their passionate fans creating an atmosphere like no other competition.

“Sonia and Jo will be leading the team and I know are looking forward to supporting this talented team. I’m excited to see them both in action in their respective roles for this competition. Meanwhile, the remaining Roses will be working hard back in camp in the UK ahead of our home series against South Africa in December.”

This year’s event will be the eleventh time the competition has been held since its inception in England in 2009. Last year was the first time the competition had been held in four years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Details on fixtures, times and how to watch the event will be announced in due course.

For more information about FAST5, visit their website.

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