Following extensive discussions and scenario planning with Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, the decision was made to cancel the 2020 Netball Quad Series set to take place in September.
The cancellation of the tournament, which was due to be played in several cities across Australia and New Zealand, coupled with travel, quarantine restrictions and conflicting team schedules, means that it is now unlikely that the Vitality Roses will have a chance to play Australia and New Zealand in 2020.
We are continuing to look at a number of scenarios for the 2020 international season. If it is safe to do so, we hope to host some form of international activity for the Vitality Roses before the end of 2020.
Jess Thirlby, Vitality Roses Head Coach, said: “We are very disappointed about the cancellation of the 2020 Quad Series, we were very much looking forward to travelling to Australia and New Zealand for this tournament. However, the safety of our players, staff and the Netball Family is the main priority.
“We are hopeful that there will be some form of netball activity for the Vitality Roses later in the year once restrictions are eased, which will give the team exposure to other international sides whilst giving Roses fans a chance to see their favourite players on court again.”
Whilst netball activity has been suspended for several weeks now, England Netball welcomed the recent Government guidance stating that from June elite athletes (those who derive a living from competing in a sport and are a member of the senior training squad for their sport’s relevant governing body, such as the Vitality Roses) can get back to some sort of individual training in appropriate environments. This was followed by the more recent ‘phase two’ guidance that outlines a framework for the resumption of close contact training.
Jess Thirlby added: “The Vitality Roses have been busy training at home over recent weeks, however they are itching to get back on court and to begin preparing for future internationals, especially with another Commonwealth Games in sight. This recent Government guidance demonstrates the start of the resurgence of netball and gives us hope for its return despite the cancellation of the 2020 Quad Series.”
All four nations; England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa are continuing conversations and trying to determine when and how all teams will be able to meet again, whilst continuing to follow Government guidance surrounding COVID-19.