2023 Netball World Cup silver medalists England have announced a 14-player squad to face South Africa in their first home Test Series since the global showpiece hosted in Cape Town, South Africa.
The three-match Test Series will be held in December in Manchester and Nottingham on 5, 9 and 10 December.
The Vitality Roses will be without Captain Natalie Metcalf and experienced shooter Helen Housby, who are taking extended breaks, and coach Jess Thirlby has handed Halimat Adio, Sasha Glasgow, Berri Neil, Jayda Pechova and Alicia Scholes their first home international caps in the upcoming tour.
“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.England Netball Coach Jess Thirlby
“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.”England Netball Coach Jess Thirlby
“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.”
George Fisher and Laura Malcolm were unavailable due to injury.
Performance Director David Parsons: “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.”
Fixtures for the England v South Africa Test Series
Tue 5 December, AO Arena, Manchester
Sat 9 December, Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
Sun 10 December, Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
Vitality Roses squad for South Africa Series (Name; Franchise; Position)
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
Photo Caption: England Netball has named a 14-player squad ahead of a test series with South Africa’s Spar Proteas. Five players were a part of the Roses silver medal-winning squad during their Netball World Cup campaign earlier this year. Photo: Supplied