Liana Leota to lead Vitality Netball Superleague All Stars against England's Vitality Roses
The three-match Vitality Netball Legends Series starts on Wednesday, with the first match live on Sky Sports Arena and Mix at 5.30pm. All matches will be shown on air and streamed on Sky Sports' YouTube channel
By Emma Thurston
Last Updated: 20/01/21 8:27am
Liana Leota will lead a stellar line-up of Vitality Netball Superleague All Stars against England's Vitality Roses in three matches this week, live on Sky Sports.
Leota, a Commonwealth silver medallist in 2014 and World Cup runner-up in 2011, will be joined by Loughborough Lightning's Sam May and Saracens Mavericks' Jo Trip in leadership roles for the All Stars against England.
May and Trip will take on the positions of vice-captains and the squad named to face Jess Thirlby's side is packed with international talent and class.
Wasps Netball fans will have a first chance to see their new Jamaican signing Gezelle Allison in action and she's joined by Joyce Mvula and Rebekah Robinson in the All Stars' shooting end.
Vitality Netball Legends Series - All matches also streamed on Sky Sports YouTube channel
|First Test - Wednesday||Coverage from 5.30pm||Sky Sports Arena and Mix|
|Second Test - Friday||Coverage from 5.45pm||Sky Sports Arena and Mix|
|Third Test - Sunday||Coverage from 6.15pm||Sky Sports Arena|
In mid-court, Caroline O'Hanlon reunites with her former team-mate Leota, and Yasmin Parsons will look to impress Thirlby with her performances.
Strathclyde Sirens' Gia Abernethy, Lightning's Natalie Panagarry and Leeds Rhinos Netball's Fionnuala Toner will all provide excellent options for head coach Karen Greig and her assistant, Mel Mansfield, at WD.
Defensively, vice-captains Trip and May are joined by Malawi international Loreen Ngwira and Summer Artman.
Vitality Netball Superleague All Stars Squad
|Gezelle Allison||Caroline O’Hanlon|
|Jo Trip (Vice-captain)||Joyce Mvula|
|Loreen Ngwira||Natalie Panagarry|
|Samantha May (Vice-captain)||Summer Artman|
|Fionnuala Toner||Gia Abernethy|
|Liana Leota (captain)||Rebekah Robinson|
"I'm really looking forward to working with such an exciting group of athletes, as you look across the court areas we have potential for some strong units that will hopefully challenge the Vitality Roses," head coach Greig said.
"With athletes from various nations, any impactful change will offer us different styles, which I am confident will throw challenges to the Vitality Roses within the game.
"I'm excited to see what this group can achieve over the three Tests."
The first match will take place on Wednesday, with all three matches being shown live on Sky Sports and being streamed on the Sky Sports YouTube channel for viewers living in the UK and Ireland. The second and third matches will take place on Friday evening and Sunday evening.
England's Vitality Roses Squad
|Eleanor Cardwell||Jade Clarke|
|George Fisher||Imogen Allison|
|Sophie Drakeford-Lewis||Fran Williams|
|Helen Housby||Razia Quashie|
|Laura Malcolm||Vicki Oyesola|
|Serena Guthrie (Co-captain)||Layla Guscoth|
|Nat Haythornthwaite (Co-captain)||Summer Artman (Training partner)|
England's Vitality Roses squad contains the returning Helen Housby, with Serena Guthrie and Nat Haythornthwaite being named as co-captains for the series.
"I am so pleased that an All Stars team has been formed to provide us with a great challenge on the court over the next week," head coach Thirlby said.
"To have so many of our Superleague clubs represented across the player group and coaching staff is so positive.
"It shows what is possible with some collaboration and a shared commitment, to not only help support our preparations as Vitality Roses ahead of Birmingham next year, but also to help keep netball front and centre of everyone's minds at such challenging times.
"I was really humbled by the support shown by the Superleague clubs and the individuals who have sacrificed so much to be a part of this unique and highly anticipated event.
"Not only does this shine a light across the talent that we have got across Superleague but it allows us to hit out against some of the best players across multiple Commonwealth nations.
"It feels like a win-win situation for the players, the Superleague and the sport as a whole. And of course, I'd like to say a special thank you to our fans for their continued support."
Netball returns to Sky Sports with the Vitality Netball Legends series. Watch the first match on Sky Sports Arena and Mix on Wednesday from 5.30pm. All matches will also be streamed on the Sky Sports YouTube channel.