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Wasps’ Jade Clarke: “Expecting a tough game”

Wasps Netball’s Jade Clarke is delighted to be back in the Superleague and is relishing the challenge of facing Severn Stars on Saturday.

Her team will be aiming to start the 2018 season with two successive wins when they meet their Midlands rivals at the University of Worcester Arena on Saturday February 17 (6.00pm centre-pass).

Clarke, who joined Wasps Netball in August 2017, experienced her first Vitality Netball Superleague action for the reigning champions in last weekend’s win against Surrey Storm.

The mid-court star, who is England Roses’ most capped player, joined Wasps after spending the majority of the last five years playing in Australia and New Zealand.

Clarke has played with some of the Severn Stars players during her time with England and knows they present a tough test for her new team.

“It was amazing to be out on court last weekend in-front of our home fans and we want to build on that strong start in this game against Severn Stars,” she said.

“I play with Jodie Gibson, Ellie Cardwell and Laura Malcolm for England, so we know they are a strong team.

“Stars are also a bit of an unknown because they have had a couple of new imports into their team this year which will be really important for them.

“We know how solid they are, they are really strong and they will be a lot better than last year. In addition to recruiting well, they have a year’s more experience in the league, so we’re expecting a tough game.

“I love being a Wasp already and it’s good to finally be home and playing in the Superleague.”

Stars head coach Sam Bird recruited South African stars Maryka Holtzhausen and Phumza Maweni for this season, but fell agonisingly short at home to Manchester Thunder in their seasonal opener, losing 47-48 in a hard fought game.

The game could also see a debut for Wasps’ own South African signing Renske Stoltz.

Like Clarke, Wasps’ netball Director Tamsin Greenway is expecting a hard-fought encounter in Worcester.

“Stars ran Manchester Thunder really close on Saturday,” she said. “They have made some quality additions for this year, so they were always going to be stronger.

“It will be another good test for us, but we showed how good we can be when we played Storm and I will be looking for a repeat performance.

“We know our fans will make the short trip to Worcester to support us and their backing is invaluable in away games like this.”

Wasps Netball’s next home game sees them face Sirens at the Ricoh Arena on Thursday, 22 April (7.00pm centre pass). Tickets are available from www.waspsnetball.co.uk/tickets