Following the conclusion of the Netball Quad Series, where the England Roses secured a best ever finish by clinching silver, the countdown is on to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games!
England Netball has been drawn in Pool B and will face New Zealand, Malawi, Wales, Scotland and Uganda.
Defending champions Australia, Jamaica, South Africa, Barbados, Fiji and Northern Ireland make up Pool A.
The draw saw the top six teams in the world split between the two sides before the remaining six were drawn at random.
The Roses have finished third in three previous Commonwealth Games (1998, 2006 and 2010) and came fourth in the most recent edition in Glasgow in 2014.
Tracey Neville’s side will certainly be hoping to reach the final in 2018 and achieve their best ever finish but they will have their work cut out as no other country has ever beaten netballing powerhouses Australia and New Zealand in the Commonwealth Games arena.
England ran the Silver Ferns agonisingly close in the 2014 semi-finals, losing by just one goal in a captivating clash.
The Roses will have the chance to gauge where they’re currently at as preparations for the Gold Coast 2018 intensify when they take part in their summer tour to Australia and New Zealand for the Quad Series and Taini Jamison Trophy.
They will play a total of four games against current world number twos and two-time Commonwealth Games champions New Zealand.
England has a rich and successful history of playing against Wales and Scotland, including at Netball Europe and the 2015 Netball World Cup.
The home nations have been making strides on the international stage in recent years though and will be determined to better their 8th (Wales) and 9th (Scotland) place finishes from 2014.
Fast-developing Malawi could prove tough to handle with their energy, flair and passion but Neville’s team will get the chance to measure themselves against the Queens in a three-match Vitality Netball International Series this November.
The Roses’ last international series of 2017 promises to be an absolute thriller against Peace Kaluwa’s charismatic side and you can get your tickets to be courtside here.
Meanwhile, Uganda have peaked at the right time to qualify for the Commonwealth Games, rising from 13th to 9th in the world rankings after winning the Africa Netball Championships.
The She Cranes will be out to cause an upset on their Games debut and will want to build on their eighth-place finish at the 2015 Netball World Cup in Sydney.
The group stage of the competition will take place from 5th-12th April at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The finals will then be played on 14th-15th April at the Coomera Indoor Sports Centre.