Sky Live: Quad Series
Australia take on South Africa from 3am on Saturday morning, followed by England's clash with New Zealand from 5.30 - both on Sky Sports Action & Mix
By Sacha Shipway
Last Updated: 14/09/18 8:23pm
For the first time England enter the Quad Series ranked higher than they have ever been before and face Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in the latest edition as preparation for the World Cup step up.
We all remember the scenes of jubilation, which followed when the Roses clinched their first gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, ensuring a seismic shock to the netball world order.
Tracey Neville's team have risen to second in the world, and that combined with the bruised egos in the Silver Ferns and Aussie Diamonds camp, plus the drive from a rejuvenated Proteas squad will give all four teams plenty to fight for.
The race to the Netball World Cup in Liverpool next year means stakes are high as we're set for a blockbuster Quad Series.
2018 Quad Series
|South Africa||v||Australia||3am, Sky Sports Mix & Action|
|New Zealand||v||England||5am, Sky Sports Mix, Action & Main Event|
|New Zealand||v||South Africa||8.30am, Sky Sports Action, Mix & Main Event|
|Australia||v||England||10.30am, Sky Sports Action & Main Event|
|South Africa||v||England||2am, Sky Sports Arena & Mix|
|Australia||v||New Zealand||4am, Sky Sports Arena & Mix|
The Roses have named a familiar squad with ten of the twelve players returning from the gold-medal winning Commonwealth squad. Only Sasha Corbin and defender Layla Guscoth have been added to the mix, making England the most consistent of the four teams thanks to a spate of retirements and injuries from other nations.
Ama Agbeze will once again lead the Roses with Jo Harten as vice-captain for the first time. The Roses have Super Netball title-holder Geva Mentor in their defensive third and Superleague champions Natalie Haythornthwaite and Jade Clarke in the attacking end.
The depth and experience within the squad sends out a message of strength as England target their first Quad Series title.
The Roses have emerged victorious against the Silver Ferns in the two times they've gone head-to-head in 2018 - most recently beating the Kiwis at the Commonwealths in April.
The Silver Ferns won't forget their historic Commonwealth Games campaign, but for entirely different reasons to England - for the first time, they walked away without a place on the podium.
The subsequent appointment of a new head coach in Noeline Taurua and a review of the stringent rules, which prevented some of the most experienced players from putting on the black dress has also helped to mark a new, yet old era for the Ferns.
Fans and players are welcoming back mid-courter (and newly-elected captain) Laura Langman after she was banned from playing for the side because she chose to play domestically in the Australian Super Netball League instead of in New Zealand.
The return of one of netball's greats will bolster the squad but the lack of stability and unfortunate loss of defender Temalisi Fakahokotau to an ACL injury this week means they are up against it.
With the bitter defeat from the Commonwealth Games still stinging, Australia will be looking to seek retribution in front of a home crowd at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre in New South Wales when they face the Roses on Wednesday.
The Diamonds are bringing back most of the squad that narrowly lost out at the Gold Coast, the Diamonds are likely to use their home heartbreak as motivation and the clash with the Roses is the game to watch in the Series.
The retirements of Sharni Layton, Laura Geitz, Madi Robinson and Susan Pettit marks a new era for the world No 1 team while the shock inclusion and withdrawal of Renae Ingles has reinforced the feeling that sweeping changes have marked a new landscape for the squad.
The Proteas may enter as the lowest ranked of the four teams, but they should be not be underestimated having picked up a scalp in each edition of the Quads.
South Africa have been making headway, evident when they took on Australia in the January edition of the Quad Series and achieved their best ever result against the Diamonds - a narrow four-goal defeat.
This time they'll enter the tournament with a handful of players from the Superleague and Super Netball.
Karla Pretorius (nee Mostert) is one of the best defenders on the circuit after having just won the Suncorp Super Netball title alongside England'd Geva Mentor.
Captain Bongiwe Msomi was part of the Superleague winning Wasps side in their 2016-17 campaign and Severn Stars fans will be familiar with Phumza Maweni and Maryka Holtzhausen as the duo took to the Superleague last season.
Three key mid-courters have been ruled out due to injury so there are some new faces in the mix for South Africa too. Rome Dreyer, Khanyisa Chawane and Jessica Khomo will be likely to take to the court and show fans what they're made of.
Stick with us through the off-season as we reflect on the campaign, track the England internationals and the latest player movements ahead of a huge 2019 which will feature another thrilling Superleague season and the Netball World Cup.
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