Meet England's Roses as a new-look squad prepare for South Africa
Watch all three of England's Tests live on Sky Sports and via our YouTube stream on November 29, 30 and December 1
By Emma Thurston
Last Updated: 25/11/19 8:24am
As a new-look England Vitality Roses squad prepares for three back-to-back Test matches in South Africa, learn more about every team member from those who know them best.
This series formally marks the start of a new four-year cycle for England's national side and will begin to lay the foundations for the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and the next Netball World Cup in 2023.
With a host of more experienced players choosing to take time away from the international arena, the squad has fresh feel to it under their new head coach Jess Thirlby.
Watch all three Tests on Sky Sports and stream them on YouTube
Tracey Neville, Ama Agbeze, Pamela Cookey, Eboni Usoro-Brown and Serena Guthrie will join our Sky Sports team for the Vitality Roses' series.
So, what better way to get to know every member than to hear from the people who know them best?
Who is a 'massively understated superstar'? Who loves Soca music? Who is 'a good egg' and who is 'just fearless' on court? Let's start by hearing more about England's newly appointed captain...
Natalie Haythornthwaite - Captain
- Tamsin Greenway lifts the lid on England's captain for this tour
Nat, for me, is the most creative attacking player that England have. She's got so much flair about her but understands how to control it.
I think that in this four-year cycle she'll take complete ownership of that attack end, especially if she's allowed to play the way that she wants to. I think that's really important for England.
She's had opportunities but hasn't been the starting player and now this is now perfect for her. Nat has such a good personality, she's so well-mannered and warm-hearted and is the kind of person that you need (and want) in your team.
Test Series Fixtures - All streamed on YouTube too
|November 29||South Africa vs England||4.30pm on Sky Sports Mix, Arena & Main Event|
|November 30||South Africa vs England||12.30pm on Sky Sports Mix & Arena|
|December 1||South Africa vs England||10:30am on Sky Sports Mix|
- Hannah Knights shares her thoughts about her Wasps' teammates and England's most-capped player.
Jade is someone who you always want to have on your team. She plays with 100 per cent intensity and she brings that to training as well. She's just a brilliant role model of what it is to be a netball athlete.
I've been on and off in teams with her for my entire Superleague career and she just quietly goes about her business on court and just does a brilliant job.
Jade leads by example and will be such a great asset in this Roses side which is blending youth and experience. She plays with massive energy and passion and you can always rely on her to come up with an intercept or a lift for a team, exactly when you need it. She's like a massively understated superstar.
Laura Malcolm - Vice Captain
- Kathryn Turner talks about her Manchester Thunder teammate.
Laura is definitely one of those people who gives her all. She doesn't go into anything half-heartedly. It's great to see that all of the hard work that she's put over so many years is finally starting to pay off, especially with the vice-captaincy. I'm really proud of her.
On court, she's a natural leader. She's always communicating with people around her and really encouraging to the senior and the younger players coming through.
She comes out with a lot of key intercepts when we need them, she been instrumental for us over the years and that was shown in the final this year. She's a vital part of our defensive end of Thunder and I know that she will be in England's defensive end as well.
- Loughborough Lightning head coach Sara Bayman shares her thoughts about her club captain.
I think that Nat is characterised by giving 100 per cent all of the time, she works incredibly hard for the team. What she has really brought to her game is the ability to win ball at crucial times.
Last season, every time we were in trouble and we had our backs against the wall Nat would come up with ball for us. I think that's an incredible skill to have - being able to perform under pressure and win ball for the team.
Added to that, she's a leader. She talks a lot, she's very vocal and she's got bags of energy which is really important in a team scenario.
I'm excited to see her step up and try and take more of a lead at England level because I think that she's got the capability, she just needs the confidence to actually go, 'Yeah, I actually belong here'. I'm excited to see her do that now.
- Team Bath's Anna Stembridge lifts the lid on a player who she knows well.
Stacey is a phenomenal athlete. She is relentless in her pursuit of excellence and she's remarkable in that respect.
She's a great person, a lot of people just see this feisty and fiery person that's on court but she's actually also a really caring soul.
She's a huge competitor and having known Stacey for a long time, she's probably one of the best athletes that I've ever worked with.
- Hannah Knights tells us more about her defensive partner at Wasps.
Fran is a really exciting young defender and obviously she's nearer the start of her England journey and I'm sure that she's going to be in that Roses squad and is going to become a familiar face in the years to come.
I'm really lucky that I've worked with her for a number of years and have seen her develop as a player. She's really easy to play alongside, she's a totally natural defender and plays with a maturity that's way beyond her years - Fran's a joy to play with.
I think she's one of those people who in this Test series, we'll see her develop combinations really naturally with all of the different defenders in the squad.
I think it will be great to see those connections that she makes across the series and she'll be someone who will be really good at doing that. She's one of those people who makes you want to be a better version of yourself.
- Sasha Corbin introduces Saracens Mavericks' exciting young defender.
I love that Raz is super laid back and such a cool person to be around and reason with. She's a great conversationalist and is very wise.
If you ever want to see a different side to her, then put on some Soca music and watch her energy rise to another level! Then, on court you'll see her become a powerful, strong and feisty defender.
- Sasha Corbin turns the spotlight on her Saracens Mavericks teammate.
George definitely lightens the mood with her comments, she cracks me up all the time. She's got an outgoing personality and she's someone who just says exactly what's on her mind.
When you put a netball bib on her she's just fearless and doesn't care where she receives the ball in the circle. George becomes one with the post!
- Kathryn Turner discusses her Manchester Thunder teammate.
From all of our car shares during El's university days I got to know her really, really well. She's a great friend on and off court and has worked incredibly hard.
She's got such a calm and cool demeanour about her on court and you saw how she came on in the final [Superleague]. It's a trait that she's carried through from a young age [being calm] and she'll carry that on with her.
She's such a strong person, physically on court, it takes quite a lot to knock El around and that's something that she's worked on as well. I know what whatever ball I feed in she'll get on the end of it and will fight off the defence to get there. Her shooting is just amazing and she's put a lot of hours in on court to ensure that and it's paying off now.
She's one of those people who is really easy to talk to and has really come out of her shell over the past few years. Her and Laura are really bubbly personalities and great to have in your team.
- Who better than Sasha Corbin to tell us about Kadeen!?
Kadeen is super caring about her teammates and can even be a bit of a mum at times!
You can always depend on Kadeen to energise a group, bringing out her speaker with great beats and the tunes to bubble to.
When she takes to court she's incredibly passionate about every task, she becomes a leader and expresses herself through playing with a touch of flair.
- Kim Commane introduces her Team Bath shooting partner.
Sophie is my little partner in crime! I absolutely love working alongside of her and I've really enjoyed watching her grow on court and off the court.
She's a dogged player. She's got a very big engine, she works her socks off in attack and then just as hard in defence too. Sophie is somebody that you want on your team, I love working with her.
I'm so thrilled that she's been selected, she works so hard and is studying full-time as well. She balances studying, training and playing and I love to see how well she's doing.
Sophie's got a good little bit of banter about her too, once you get to know her she's not a quiet as everyone thinks!! She's a good egg.
- George Fisher opens up about England's newest Rose.
She's super bubbly and she's very much my sort of person. She loves her dogs and so do I!! Kate's always upbeat and she's always giving you a positive vibe and she's so chatty. Kate's just a really vibrant person.
Her arms are a joke on court!! You throw the ball, thinking that it's a great feed, and then she's tipped it! She's settled into the team really well and adds so much.
Summer Artman (Training Partner)
- Anna Stembridge talks about this young lady's potential.
Summer always wants to be the best that she can be and that means that she'll always ask questions.
She's very considered in her questions - both to yourself as a coach and to other players - and is very thoughtful. She's meticulous in terms of her performance analysis and her thoughts on teams I always find very insightful and genuinely on the money.
Last year for us [at Team Bath], she was instrumental in our campaign - calm in attack and ruthless in defence and she always won critical ball in critical games.
Gabriella Marshall (Training Partner)
- Sasha Corbin introduces her teammate who has just come back from a tough injury.
Gabs is an engine! She's one of the funniest people, has great banter and always has a swift come back with her words.
On a netball court she gets totally in the zone and never stops working incredibly hard for her team.
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 and will be streamed worldwide on YouTube.