Vitality Roses squad confirmed for international series with New Zealand

England Netball have confirmed the squad that will represent the Vitality Roses in next month’s international test series away in New Zealand for the Taini Jamison Trophy which the Roses won for the first time in October 2021.

Following a summer that concluded with a silver medal and England’s history-making performance at the Netball World Cup, members of the 2023 World Cup playing group and staff will take a planned break as a fresh cohort of Roses come into the squad that will be led by a temporary coaching and staff team.

Amongst the Vitality Roses’ squad are seven players who are in line to make their England debuts. This includes Sasha Glasgow who earlier this year was selected for the Roses programme for the first time.

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Jayda Pechova, Alicia Scholes and Emma Thacker, who all featured at the Fast5 Netball World Series in Christchurch, have received their first senior call-up alongside Ella Bowen and Berri Neil.

Hali Adio, who returned to the Roses programme earlier this year and travelled to the Netball World Cup as a reserve, has been called up and could make her first start. Future Rose Vicki Oyesola also returns to the senior side after making her last appearance in New Zealand in 2020.

Name Position
Halimat Adio GK, GD
Ella Bowen GD, GK, WD
Amy Carter C, WD
Sophie Drakeford-Lewis GA, WA
Sasha Glasgow GA, GS
Alice Harvey GK, GD
Hannah Joseph WA, C
Elle McDonald C, WA
Berri Neil GA, GS
Vicki Oyesola GD, WD, GK
Jayda Pechova GD, GK
Ellie Rattu C, WD
Alicia Scholes WA, C
Emma Thacker GA, GS

A captain and the leadership group will be named in the coming weeks.

Vitality Roses Technical Coach, Liana Leota, who is also Head Coach of NSL team Leeds Rhinos, steps in to temporarily lead the side as Head Coach. She will be assisted by London Pulse Head Coach Sam Bird, who joins the coaching team specifically for this series, and Jo Harten who had also provided support for the team at the World Cup.

All athletes and staff will return under the leadership of Vitality Roses Head Coach, Jess Thirlby, for the three-match home series against South Africa in December 2023.

Vitality Roses Head Coach Jess Thirlby commented: “This series presents a brilliant opportunity for new, returning and current Vitality Roses and Future Roses athletes to get much-needed exposure to international competition soon after our World Cup campaign. It’s important that we keep up the momentum in the short term but with the longer-term ambition of achieving further success in the next cycle with the World Cup in Sydney firmly in our minds. That work starts now and I’m looking forward to supporting this very talented squad through this Taini Jamison series.

“Many of this squad have had fantastic seasons within the NSL, earning them selection onto our Roses and Futures programmes for the coming year alongside more seasoned players who narrowly missed out on the recent World Cup. They have been working hard in camp and are hungry to pull on the red dress and I’m sure this will help to accelerate both the individual and collective development of our team.

“My role will be to provide performance support to both the staff and player group whilst gaining valuable insight into our current performance levels to help inform our strategic plans moving forward. It’s great to bring together Liana, Sam and Jo who will lead the team on this occasion and who I know will both challenge and support the team in equal measure.”

Liana Leota added: “I feel privileged and honoured to be able to lead the Roses to New Zealand in a three-match test series. For me, it’s an opportunity to develop. I enjoy and love my role as a technical coach in the Roses environment so this is a chance to see what else I can learn in this role. This is also a great opportunity for the youngsters and new players we’re bedding in. It’s the start of a new four-year cycle so it’s a chance for those who have not got as much experience to come up against New Zealand. I’m looking forward to seeing what they have to offer and the experience we can provide to them on the international stage.”

Performance Director David Parsons said: “It was important after such a busy summer, which in itself brought a culmination of three years of intensive training and competition, for most of our athletes and staff to ensure they had the time needed to reset as we enter the next international period determined to build upon the progress we saw at the Netball World Cup. This provides a brilliant opportunity for us to learn more about the athletes who will be pressing to be part of Roses during this cycle and beyond. Coming up against such a strong and highly competitive netball nation like New Zealand gives us the chance to gain some early insight at the start of this important phase, but also this will be a great test and learning opportunity for our athletes.

“We are also intent on supporting the development of the coaches working across the Netball Super League, as well as those that may have a contribution to make to the international game in the future, so we are delighted that Liana, Sam and Jo will be leading this tour and we will continue to look for opportunities to develop our coaching workforce.”

The full list of fixtures and timings for fans in the UK are as follows:

  • Sunday 24 September at Christchurch Arena, Christchurch: FCP 4am
  • Wednesday 27 September at Te Rauparaha Arena, Porirua: FCP 7:30am
  • Saturday 30 September at GLOBOX Arena, Hamilton: FCP 7:10am

Broadcast details for fans in the UK will be announced in due course.

More information on all the players selected can be found on our biography pages.

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