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Head Coach of the Vitality Roses, Jess Thirlby has revealed the names of 16 players who will travel with her to New Zealand to face the Silver Ferns this October.

The squad is made up entirely of British based talent with all 16 players being signed to Superleague sides in their last active season.

The England side are set to fly to New Zealand on 8 October, after which the team will quarantine for two weeks before facing the world champions on 28 October, 30 October and 1 November.

The Vitality Roses, who are currently placed third in the world, will be fighting for the Taini Jamison Trophy in the three-day Cadbury Netball Series.

Amongst the familiar names in the squad, Thirlby has selected uncapped Imogen Allison (Team Bath in 2020) and highly rated defender Hilmat Adio (London Pulse in 2020). Serena Guthrie returns to the squad after a year out, having last played at the Vitality World Cup and before that for Team Bath in 2019.

Commenting on the squad, Head Coach Jess Thirlby said: “I am delighted to reveal the names of the 16 players who will be heading to New Zealand with me, this is a massively important opportunity for the team after what has been an extremely difficult period for all.

“After both the Vitality Netball Superleague and the international season were disrupted due to COVID-19, we weren’t sure whether we were going to get an opportunity like this in 2020. However, even despite not knowing whether this test series was going to go ahead, I am so proud of how well the Vitality Roses athletes and staff have handled training in a different environment and of how they have come together in uncertain times. I know they’re all excited to get out there now and to get playing.

Amongst the squad, only two players have confirmed their destination for 2020, one of which is Jade Clarke, who is the Vitality Roses most capped player and has been announced as Leeds Rhinos first-ever signing.

Thirlby continued, “It’ll be an unmissable series and we’re looking forward to getting there now. In the meantime, we will be busy behind the scenes ensuring every safety protocol is in place to keep all involved protected. We’re very thankful for New Zealand’s ongoing support in this process and for them hosting us. We can’t wait to represent the Netball Family and hope everyone will be tuning in to watch. It can’t be underestimated what an achievement it is for both nations to enable this opportunity to happen, not only for both nations but for the visibility of international netball and female sport during such challenging times.”

The leadership structure for the squad is yet to be announced, however, Thirlby is set to name the captaincy for the series in the lead up to the tour.

To keep up to date with all of the news regarding the series follow England Netball on social media. All of the games will be broadcast live by Sky Sports with exact timings to be announced in due course.

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