Fran Williams to captain the Vitality Roses against the South Africa SPAR Proteas

Fran Williams to captain the Vitality Roses

Fran Williams has been selected to captain the Vitality Roses in the upcoming Vitality Netball International Series against South Africa which starts on Tuesday 5 December.  

The 25-year-old made her England debut in November 2018 and has gone on to represent the Vitality Roses 36 times and play in two Netball World Cups.

She played a pivotal role in England’s journey to the Netball World Cup final over the summer as she picked off the decisive intercept that helped the Vitality Roses on their way to their first win over New Zealand in five semi-final meetings.

Before the World Cup, Fran won a second Netball Super League title with Loughborough Lightning and was voted Fan’s Player of the Season in 2023.

Fellow World Cup silver medallists Eleanor Cardwell and Imogen Allison will form part of the wider leadership group with Fran.

Fran Williams commented: “It’s such a huge privilege to be named Captain for the upcoming series against South Africa and a responsibility I definitely won’t take for granted. We’ve got such an exciting squad at the moment with a nice mix of experience from those who were over in Cape Town in the summer, to the girls who did us all proud in New Zealand, putting out such strong performances against the world number two side.

“I’m keen to make sure that for those girls where this is their first home international series, it’s an enjoyable experience and a moment they’ll cherish in their netball careers.”

“I’m really looking forward to having El and Imo in the leadership group. They’re so good at challenging the squad and keeping the standards high but also making sure the fun is there as well.”

Fran rose through the England ranks playing at U17, U19 and U21 level and captained England at the Netball World Youth Cup in Botswana in 2015. In 2019, Fran was called up to the senior team for the Netball World Cup in Liverpool and was the youngest member of an experienced England side.

Off the court, she is Player Chair for the Netball Players Association (NPA) which provides a unified voice supporting and promoting player welfare in the UK.

Vitality Roses Head Coach Jess Thirlby added: “Fran has had a fantastic year at both domestic and international level and I’m delighted that she will be leading this Vitality Roses side into this upcoming series with South Africa.

“She has been part of the Vitality Roses for the last five years and has developed into one of our senior players. Over the summer she was influential in our journey to our first World Cup final.

“On and off the court, she is a fantastic character and with the support of Eleanor and Imo, I’m looking forward to seeing how she develops in this series.”

Watch the Vitality Roses take on South Africa’s SPAR Proteas live on Sky Sports from Tuesday 5 December with the first match available to watch on Sky Sports Mix and Arena and YouTube from 18:30 and Main Event from 19:00.

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