Vitality Roses to play Australian Diamonds in three-match test series in Australia

The Vitality Roses and Origin Australian Diamonds stood for the anthems at the Vitality Netball Nations Cup in Leeds in January 2024. [Photo credit: Flynn Duggan]

The Vitality Roses will be heading to Australia in September to play a three-match test series against the Australian Diamonds.

This test series will see the world number one ranked Australian Diamonds host the world number three ranked Vitality Roses across three different locations in Australia.

The series begins at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, where the first match will be played on Thursday 19 September at 10:00am BST (7:00pm AEST).

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The second match will be played at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena on Sunday 22 September at 7:00am BST (4:00pm AEST).

The final game of the series will be played at Bendigo Stadium on Wednesday 25 September at 10:00am BST (7:00pm AEST).

Following the series, the Vitality Roses will travel to New Zealand to play the Silver Ferns on Sunday 29 September at The Trusts Arena in Auckland, on Wednesday 2 October at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua and on Sunday 6 October at ILT Stadium Southland in Invercargill.

The three-match test series against Australia is a continuation of the building rivalry between the two nations, who have faced each other in two tournament finals over the past year. The two sides last met at the Vitality Netball Nations Cup (VNNC) in January 2024 where England were narrowly defeated 59-61 by Australia in the group stage match, followed by a 49-69 loss in the final. The silver medal at this tournament followed on from the Vitality Roses’ history-making second place finish at the Netball World Cup last summer. Despite a 45-61 loss in the final, the Vitality Roses defeated the Australian Diamonds 56-55 in the group stage match at the Netball World Cup in a thrilling game that was decided in the final seconds.

Vitality Roses Head Coach Jess Thirlby said: “A three-match series against the Diamonds is a welcome challenge and helps to continue the momentum we are starting to build against the world number ones, but there is still much work to do if we are to close the gap between us both. Making finals against the Diamonds, most recently at the World Cup and Nations Cup, has been an important and historic step for us but we now need to make that a habit and an expectation we have of ourselves. More importantly we need to compete better and more consistently once we earn those opportunities.

“This series presents such a great opportunity to test ourselves in back-to-back matches as we aim to elevate our performance levels game-on-game as well as stand up mentally against a team whose natural habitat is not only making finals but winning them. Not only are we looking forward to and embracing the on-court challenge, but playing away from home in the Australians’ back yard will be a great rehearsal for the Netball World Cup in Sydney in 2027 and a great experience for some of our fast-rising talent who will be competing for places in this competition. We look forward to strengthening the rivalry between the Roses and the Diamonds and will soon turn our attention to preparing the team after their domestic campaigns.”

A squad announcement and more information on the broadcast plans for these matches will be shared closer to the time.

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