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England Netball’s Vitality Roses to face New Zealand and Australia live on Sky Sports | Netball News

The Roses will face the world champions in September and the Diamonds in October; every match will be live on Sky Sports. Geva Mentor among 15 Vitality Roses selected; Jo Harten, Helen Housby, Natalie Haythornthwaite and Stacey Francis-Bayman will join for Australia leg

Last Updated: 26/08/21 7:42am

England will face the world champions on their home court (Image credit: Sportpix - Kevin Booth)

England will face the world champions on their home court (Image credit: Sportpix – Kevin Booth)

England Netball’s Vitality Roses will play a three-game series against world champions New Zealand in late September before facing the Australian Diamonds in October, with every match shown live on Sky Sports.

The Vitality Roses will fly to Christchurch in New Zealand’s South Island, where they will quarantine upon arrival as per the country’s government restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The squad will exit quarantine on September 19 to allow them to train as a team and prepare for the three planned fixtures against the Silver Ferns on September 20, 22 and 24 at the Christchurch Arena, subject to government lockdown levels being reduced in the South Island.

The series will be a key stage of preparation for the Vitality Roses ahead of next summer’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham as they bid to defend their historic gold from the 2018 Games.

It will be the first time since the Cadbury Netball Series in 2020 that the two teams have faced each other on court.

Vitality Roses’ New Zealand and Australia Series – Live on Sky Sports

September 20 New Zealand Silver Ferns vs England Vitality Roses
September 22 New Zealand Silver Ferns vs England Vitality Roses
September 24 New Zealand Silver Ferns vs England Vitality Roses
October (Date TBC) Australian Diamonds vs England Vitality Roses
October (Date TBC) Australian Diamonds vs England Vitality Roses
October (Date TBC) Australian Diamonds vs England Vitality Roses

The Vitality Roses will then travel to Australia to play the Australian Diamonds in a three-game series in October, also live on Sky Sports. The dates of those fixtures and venues will be confirmed in due course.

England Netball, alongside Netball Australia and Netball New Zealand are working hard behind the scenes to navigate the changing COVID-19 travel restrictions and quarantine regulations in place between New Zealand and Australia.

“To organise a tour of this magnitude at this time has been incredibly challenging due to the ongoing global pandemic and the restrictions to travel, testing programmes and quarantine periods as per Government regulations across the world,” David Parsons, Performance Director at England Netball, said.

“The backroom teams involved have worked tirelessly over a period of many months to enable the tour to get to this point and I’d like to thank everyone at Netball New Zealand and Netball Australia for their continued efforts and partnership throughout.

“The situation in both countries is changing daily and we are working with both nations to navigate what that means for the fixtures we have planned.

“We want to ensure our athletes have the best possible opportunities to compete against the World’s top teams as we head towards the Commonwealth Games in 2022, however the health and safety of our players is our priority and we will continue to follow all Government guidance in both New Zealand and Australia, putting the wellbeing of all athletes first.”

Vitality Roses Squad for New Zealand and Australia Series

Ella Clark Rhea Dixon George Fisher
Eleanor Cardwell Sophie Drakeford-Lewis Laura Malcolm
Hannah Joseph Serena Guthrie Beth Cobden
Imogen Allison Jade Clarke Geva Mentor
Layla Guscoth Francesca Williams Vicki Oyseola
Stacey Francis-Bayman (Australia leg only) Joanne Harten (Australia leg only) Helen Housby (Australia leg only)
Natalie Haythornthwaite (Australia leg only)

“This tour provides us with the world-class playing and training opportunities that are so critical to our preparations for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham next July,” Jess Thirlby, the Vitality Roses head coach said.

“This series will enable us to test existing and new combinations within this diverse and talented squad.

“As a team we are really looking forward to journeying to New Zealand and Australia and taking to the court to match up against some of the world’s highest ranked nations.

“We are excited to have international netball back on court and on screens for fans across the world to enjoy.”

Fifteen Vitality Roses have been selected to play in New Zealand, including the return of Geva Mentor who will be back in a Roses dress for the first time since the Vitality Netball World Cup in 2019.

Jo Harten, Helen Housby, Nat Haythornthwaite and Stacey Francis-Bayman will then join the planned Australian leg of the tour.


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