Vitality Roses squad revealed for Vitality Roses Reunited Series

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 24: Layla Guscoth, Beth Cobden, Serena Guthrie, Laura Malcolm and Sophie Drakeford-Lewis of England (L-R) line up for their national anthem prior to game three of the Cadbury International Netball Series between the New Zealand Silver Ferns and the England Vitality Roses at Christchurch Arena on September 24, 2021 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

Vitality Roses Head Coach Jess Thirlby has announced the names of 16 players who have been selected as part of the Vitality Roses squad to face the Jamaica Sunshine Girls in the upcoming Vitality Netball ‘Roses Reunited’ Series.

The three-match series gets underway at the Copper Box Arena in London on Sunday 28 November, before moving on to the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 December, with venues welcoming back fans to watch the action live.

The Vitality Netball ‘Roses Reunited’ Series gives the Vitality Roses players and the Performance team at England Netball the opportunity to continue preparations for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022, against the fourth ranked nation in world netball.

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The squad sees some exciting names welcomed back to reunite with fellow Roses on court, with the inclusion of Jo Harten, Helen Housby, Stacey Francis-Bayman and Natalie Haythornthwaite. Geva Mentor and Chelsea Pitman were unavailable for selection due to personal reasons.

In addition the England ‘A’ and the England Development squads have been announced, with both sides set to play a series of matches across November and December.

England ‘A’ will face a Jamaica side on Monday 22 November and Wednesday 24 November, plus the Vitality Roses on Sunday 21 November, all to be played behind closed doors.

And the England Development squad, predominantly an Under 21’s side, will compete in a programme of fixtures to be announced in due course.

Jess Thirlby, Vitality Roses Head Coach, said: “This squad showcases the depth and breadth of talent we have in the Vitality Roses team, and I am excited to bring this group of players together for the Roses Reunited series.

“To welcome back the likes of Jo Harten, Helen Housby, Stacey Francis-Bayman and Natalie Haythornthwaite to the squad only helps to strengthen an already talented and well established group. It is so valuable to be able to spend time together in camp in preparation for the games ahead and there is a great energy amongst everyone which speaks to the environment and culture we feel represents this team and that we work hard to cultivate day in day out.

“The team cannot wait to get back on court in front of home fans, keeping focused on our preparation for the Commonwealth Games next summer and developing and building as a team, to make everyone proud.

“I’m also proud that we have secured competition opportunities for those who have the drive and ambition to compete for a place in a Roses team, both in the short and longer term. The England ‘A’ and England Development squad fixtures not only provide an opportunity to showcase our talent but affords players a long awaited moment in the spotlight to excite our fans about the emerging Roses that are coming through our programme.”

David Parsons, Performance Director England Netball, added: “It is so encouraging to be able to name three such strong squads that indicate the talent that we have available across the English game.

“For the Vitality Roses, the series against Jamaica will be another real test of our capability against one of the best teams in the world as we hope to build on from our success in New Zealand.

“For those involved in the England ‘A’ fixtures, it’s a real opportunity to press a case for selection as we look ahead to next year’s Commonwealth Games, and for the England Development squad, having missed out on an Under 21 World Cup and an overseas tour this year, it is great for so many outstanding Under 21 players, some already with Vitality Netball Superleague experience, to get the opportunity to showcase their talents.”

The November 28 fixture at London’s Copper Box Arena is sold out but tickets are available for the Nottingham Motorpoint Arena dates here.

Vitality Roses Squad

Imogen Allison* WD, C
Eleanor Cardwell GS, GA
Jade Clarke C, WD
Beth Cobden WD, C
Sophie Drakeford-Lewis* GA, WA
Funmi Fadoju*/** GD, GK, WD
Georgina Fisher GS, GA
Stacey Francis-Bayman GD, WD, GK
Layla Guscoth GD, GK, WD
Serena Guthrie (Captain) C, WD
Natalie Haythornthwaite (Vice-Captain) WA, GA
Jo Harten GS, GA
Helen Housby GA, GS
Laura Malcolm WA, WD, C
Eboni Usoro-Brown GK, GD
Francesca Williams GD, GK, WD

* Will also feature in the England A fixtures

** Also selected for the England Development squad


England ‘A’ Squad

Imogen Allison* WD, C
Ella Clark GA, GS
Rhea Dixon GA, GS, WA
Sophie Drakeford-Lewis* GA, WA
Zara Everitt** GD, WD
Funmi Fadoju*/** GD, GK, WD
Brie Grierson WA, GA
Hannah Joseph WA
Vicki Oyesola GD, WD
Natalie Panagarry C, WD
Kira Rothwell** GA, WA
Olivia Tchine** GS

*Selected in the Vitality Roses squad but will also feature in the England A fixtures

** Also selected for the England Development squad


England Development Squad

Zara Everitt* GD, WD
Funmi Fadoju*/** GD, GK, WD
Rachael Fee GD, GK
Alice Harvey GK, GD
Suzie Liverseidge WA, GA
Berri Neil GA, GS
Ellie Rattu C, WD
Annabel Roddy WD, GD
Kira Rothwell* GA, WA
Sienna Rushton GA, GS
Alicia Scholes C, WA
Olivia Tchine* GS
Emma Thacker GS, GA
Hannah Williams C, WA
Aliyah Zaranyika WD, GD
Ella Bowen GD, GK
Emma Rayner WA, C

*Also selected in the England A squad

** Also selected in the Vitality Roses squad

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