A squad of 14 players have been selected to represent England in the team’s first home international series since winning a historic Netball World Cup silver medal.
The Vitality Netball International Series between the Vitality Roses and South Africa’s SPAR Proteas will take place in Manchester and Nottingham on 5, 9 and 10 December.
Five of the team who helped take England to their first-ever Netball World Cup Final feature in Jess Thirlby’s squad, whilst it will be a first home international series for Halimat Adio, Sasha Glasgow, Berri Neil, Jayda Pechova and Alicia Scholes.
Vitality Roses Head Coach Jess Thirlby commented: “We’ve been looking forward to this home series since the summer and whilst we’ve already been incredibly busy since the success of the World Cup campaign competing in an away series in New Zealand and the recent Fast5, there is nothing like playing at home.
“The selected squad certainly looks and feels different, bringing a new energy and dynamic as we look to strengthen existing talent whilst uncovering new potential. Not only do we have the continuity of some of our World Cup silver medallists in Fran, Eleanor, Imogen, Funmi and Olivia joined by World Cup reserves Halimat and Amy, but we also see the inclusion of senior and experienced players in Sasha, Razia and Hannah as well as bright, young talent who are beginning to assert themselves amongst the squad in Alicia, Ellie, Berri and Jayda. For selection to be so tough so soon after a World Cup campaign signals the improving depth which is much needed for future success on the world stage.
“We are very aware of the strength of the current talent in the South Africa team and most of their squad remains unchanged from the World Cup. They will arrive sharp off the back of their series against Australia and I’m sure will be looking to challenge us closely. With both sides having not met at the World Cup and with some great contests in the Quad event earlier this year, the series is set to give our new look team the perfect challenge we need so early in this new cycle and provide us with plenty of insight ahead of the Nations Cup campaign in January.”
Vitality Roses squad for South Africa Series:
|Halimat Adio||London Pulse||GK, GD|
|Imogen Allison||Manchester Thunder||WD, C|
|Eleanor Cardwell||GS, GA|
|Amy Carter||Manchester Thunder||C, WD|
|Funmi Fadoju||London Pulse||GD, GK, WD|
|Sasha Glasgow||GA, GS|
|Hannah Joseph||Loughborough Lightning||WA, C|
|Berri Neil||London Pulse||GA, GS|
|Jayda Pechova||Team Bath||GD, GK|
|Razia Quashie||Saracens Mavericks||GK|
|Ellie Rattu||Saracens Mavericks||WD, C|
|Alicia Scholes||London Pulse||WA, C|
|Olivia Tchine||London Pulse||GS|
|Fran Williams||GD, GK, WD|
Helen Housby and Nat Metcalf are both taking extended breaks following the Netball World Cup and were therefore not available for selection. George Fisher and Laura Malcolm were unavailable due to injury.
Performance Director David Parsons added: “It’s great to welcome another strong international team to England for what will undoubtedly be a tough series. This series presents an opportunity for those that were involved in the successful Netball World Cup to push on as we look towards this next cycle, whilst also enabling a host of younger athletes to gain more exposure against a top five nation so soon after the recent series in New Zealand where they equipped themselves so well. We will be without some of the more experienced members of our World Cup squad, and that in itself provides the platform for our next generation to step into their shoes and demonstrate an exciting future for the team.”
Tickets for the series are available to purchase at tickets.englandnetball.co.uk. The whole series will be available for UK fans to watch via Sky Sports.
The full list of fixtures and timings are as follows:
- Tuesday 5 December, 7pm – AO Arena, Manchester
- Saturday 9 December, 5pm – Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
- Sunday 10 December, 2pm – Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham