England Roses head coach Jess Thirlby reveals squad to face South Africa
Watch all three of England's Tests live on Sky Sports on November 29, 30 and December 1
By Sky Sports Netball
Last Updated: 07/11/19 4:37pm
The Vitality Roses' head coach Jess Thirlby has revealed her 14-player England squad to take on South Africa in a three-match Test series later this month.
England defeated South Africa to claim a bronze medal in July's Vitality Netball World Cup and Jade Clarke, Fran Williams, Natalie Haythornthwaite and Natalie Panagarry - who were all part of that side - feature in Thirlby's named 14 for this tour.
Clarke, Stacey Francis and Kadeen Corbin were eligible for selection despite not being part of the full-time Roses programme and they will be joined by Kate Shimmin, who is set to make her debut on the national stage.
As expected, it's a new-look England squad due to a number of established players either taking breaks from the international arena or being rested.
Most recently Jo Harten and Geva Mentor announced that they have stepped away from England's programme for six months plus Serena Guthrie is taking a year out from the sport.
George Fisher, Eleanor Cardwell, Sophie Drakeford-Lewis, Laura Malcolm and Razia Quashie step into the Roses fold having not featured at this summer's World Cup.
Saracens Mavericks head coach Kathryn Ratnapala will join Thirlby in Cape Town as assistant coach for the series, while Mavericks' Gabriella Marshall and Team Bath's Summer Artman will join up with the team as training partners.
Thirlby will confirm the structure of the leadership team over the course of the squad's next two camps.
England's 14-player squad for South Africa Series
|George Fisher||Natalie Panagarry|
|Eleanor Cardwell||Stacey Francis|
|Kadeen Corbin||Kate Shimmin|
|Sophie Drakeford-Lewis||Fran Williams|
|Natalie Haythornthwaite||Razia Quashie|
|Jade Clarke||Gabriella Marshall|
|Laura Malcolm||Summer Artman|
"I am really looking forward to heading to Cape Town with the Roses for what is set to be an unmissable series," said Thirlby.
"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 debutante 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 three-match series takes place between November 29 and December 1 with every Test being shown live on Sky Sports.
This will be the Roses' last tournament before they take on world champions New Zealand, Jamaica and South Africa on home soil in the Vitality Netball Nations Cup in January 2020.
Sky Sports is your home of netball and live action returns with this three-Test tour to South Africa. The first Test from the Velodrome in Cape Town will be shown on November 29 at 5.00pm.