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Latest Vitality Roses squad annouced

England Netball has revealed the names of athletes,  who will travel to face the South Africa SPAR Proteas in a three-match test series in a few weeks’ time.

The latest Vitality Roses squad has a distinct Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) feel to it with 13 out of the 14 players selected have played in the league, with 11 featuring in the 2019 season, 10 of which have already signed up to the 2020 season.

Jess Thirlby, Head Coach of the Vitality Roses, has also played and coached in the league. Thirlby will be leading the side having only left her role at Team Bath at the end of last season. Saracens Mavericks Head Coach Kathryn Ratnapala will join Thirlby in Cape Town to support her in an Assistant Coach capacity for this series.

The following VNSL stars have been selected for the lastest tour:

Jade Clark – Wasps

Fran Williams – Wasps

George Fisher – Saracens Mavericks

Kadeen Corbin – Saracens Mavericks

Razia Quashie – Saracens Mavericks

Gabriella Marshall – Saracens Mavericks

Nat Panagarry – Loughborough Lighting

Eleanor Cardwell – Manchester Thunder

Laura Malcolm – Manchester Thunder

Sophie Drakeford-Lewis – Team Bath

Summer Artman who has also been selected, played for Team Bath in the 2019 season but her destination for the 2020 season has yet to be announced.

Natalie Haythornthwaite and Stacey Francis who have both been selected have previously played in the VNSL for Wasps and Team Bath respectively.

Kate Shimmin who plays for Adelaide Thunderbirds has also been selected.

The official squad announcement can be found here.

Despite not being a part of the full-time Roses programme, Jade Clarke and Kadeen Corbin chose to trial for the highly anticipated international series and were eligible to do so via the P3 route as they have played in more than 65% of games in the Vitality Netball Superleague.

Thirlby said: “I am really looking forward to heading to Cape Town with the Roses for what is set to be an unmissable series.

“I’m also delighted to be welcoming the likes of Jade Clarke and Natalie Haythornthwaite back into the fold after their World Cup campaign and look forward to seeing more of those World Cup athletes returning to the court in 2020.

“We have a real mix of talent in this squad that will be setting off to South Africa soon, including some players with extensive experience of competing in the England set-up and who most importantly know how to operate on the international stage, as well as some who are very new to it and have a bright future ahead. Having this variety is really important in a team as the newer faces bring lots of energy and excitement to this environment and will also benefit from rubbing shoulders with their more experienced teammates.

“A great example of this variety is Jade Clarke who is quickly approaching her 170th cap in comparison to debutant Kate Shimmin who has now come into the Roses programme for the first time. Overall I can sense the desire amongst the group to represent the Vitality Roses and the pride they have in doing so.

“The last time the Vitality Roses faced the SPAR Proteas was in Liverpool at the Vitality Netball World Cup when they beat them to the podium in the bronze medal match, so it will be really exciting to see these two strong sides face each other once again.”

You can watch the Vitality Roses live on Sky Sports on 29 November at 17:00, 30 November at 13:00 and 1 December at 11:00.

You can see the Vitality Roses stars in action at the Vitality Netball Superleague Season Opener on 22 February 2020. Tickets are incredibly limited and the last few remaining tickets can be found here.

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