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Wales international Georgia Rowe and Christina Shaw battle for the ball in Severn Stars' fixture with Celtic Dragons.

Wales international Georgia Rowe and Christina Shaw battle for the ball in Severn Stars' fixture with Celtic Dragons.

Head Coach Sara Hale has announced her 23-player Wales senior netball squad for the 2021 season, with 13 current Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) stars included.

Four VNSL sides are represented in the Welsh squad selected on Thursday with players starring for Celtic Dragons, Severn Stars, Team Bath Netball and Wasps during the 2021 season.

Rebecca Baker (Celtic Dragons), Betsy Creak (Team Bath Netball), Morganne Dunne (Celtic Dragons), Bethan Dyke (Severn Stars), Lucy Howells (Celtic Dragons), Clare Jones (Celtic Dragons), Kyra Jones (Severn Stars), Nia Jones (Severn Stars), Shona O’Dwyer (Celtic Dragons), Ella Powell-Davies (Wasps), Georgia Rowe (Severn Stars), Christina Shaw (Celtic Dragons) and Leila Thomas (Celtic Dragons) all made the team.

Other notable inclusions include Suzy Drane – who represented Dragons for more than a decade – and Sophie Morgan who started the season as Dragons’ co-captain. Zoe Matthewman, meanwhile, plays her club netball for Loughborough Lightning’s U21 side.

Reflecting on the selected squad, Head Coach Sara Hale said: “As a coach it’s been really pleasing to see so many high-quality athletes wanting to represent Wales this season. Of course, there have been some difficult decisions to make, but ultimately, I believe that this group of athletes will be able to take Wales to the next level, as we aim to qualify for the Commonwealth Games and 2023 Netball World Cup.

“It was really important for us to get the balance right between youth and experience, and I believe we have done that. Each of these athletes not only add value in their own right, but they each bring something different to the team both on and off the court, and for me that’s really exciting.

“I am really looking forward to working with this talented group.”

Welsh Netball’s Performance Lead, Fern Burrage-Male was pleased to see the 2021 squad announced. She said: “Recent months have posed a huge challenge to our high-performance athletes and coaches as we have navigated our way through the pandemic. It is fantastic that now we are in a position to select and announce our 2021 squad.

“Being selected for the Welsh senior squad is a huge achievement and on behalf of Welsh Netball I would like to congratulate everyone selected.

“We are looking forward to getting the whole squad back into training and we are working hard behind the scenes on Wales’ performance calendar heading into next year’s Commonwealth Games.”

The Vitality Netball Superleague would like to congratulate all athletes who were selected.

Squad: Carys Allen, Rebecca Baker, Millie Carter, Betsy Creak, Suzy Drane, Morganne Dunne, Bethan Dyke, Celyn Emmanuel, Lydia Hitchings, Lucy Howells, Clare Jones, Kyra Jones, Nia Jones, Chelsea Lewis, Zoe Matthewman, Sophie Morgan, Shona O’Dwyer, Ella Porter, Ella Powell-Davies, Eleanor Roberts, Georgia Rowe, Christina Shaw and Leila Thomas.

You can still get tickets to watch these Welsh stars in action before the conclusion of the 2021 VNSL season. Secure your seat here.

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