England netball squad Nat Metcalf and Helen Housby to miss South Africa series
England Netball squad named to take on South Africa in home December series; three matches to take place in Manchester and Nottingham between December 5-10; captain Natalie Metcalf and shooter Helen Housby announced as taking extended breaks; George Fisher and Laura Malcolm injured
Last Updated: 20/11/23 8:54pm
England have named their 14-player squad to take on South Africa in the team's first home series since winning a Netball World Cup silver medal, with captain Natalie Metcalf and shooter Helen Housby taking extended breaks.
Five of the team who helped take England to their first Netball World Cup final feature in Jess Thirlby's squad, while it will be a first home international series for Halimat Adio, Sasha Glasgow, Berri Neil, Jayda Pechova and Alicia Scholes.
"We've been looking forward to this home series since the summer and whilst we've already been incredibly busy since the success of the World Cup campaign competing in an away series in New Zealand and the recent Fast5, there is nothing like playing at home," Vitality Roses head coach Jess Thirlby said.
"The selected squad certainly looks and feels different, bringing a new energy and dynamic as we look to strengthen existing talent whilst uncovering new potential. Not only do we have the continuity of some of our World Cup silver medallists in Fran, Eleanor, Imogen, Funmi and Olivia joined by World Cup reserves Halimat and Amy, but we also see the inclusion of senior and experienced players in Sasha, Razia and Hannah as well as bright, young talent who are beginning to assert themselves amongst the squad in Alicia,
"Ellie, Berri and Jayda. For selection to be so tough so soon after a World Cup campaign signals the improving depth which is much needed for future success on the world stage.
"We are very aware of the strength of the current talent in the South Africa team and most of their squad remains unchanged from the World Cup. They will arrive sharp off the back of their series against Australia and I'm sure will be looking to challenge us closely. With both sides having not met at the World Cup and with some great contests in the Quad event earlier this year, the series is set to give our new look team the perfect challenge we need so early in this new cycle and provide us with plenty of insight ahead of the Nations Cup campaign in January."
Housby and Metcalf were both confirmed as taking extended breaks following the Netball World Cup and were therefore not available for selection, while George Fisher and Laura Malcolm were unavailable due to injury.
Performance director David Parsons added: "It's great to welcome another strong international team to England for what will undoubtedly be a tough series.
"This series presents an opportunity for those that were involved in the successful Netball World Cup to push on as we look towards this next cycle, whilst also enabling a host of younger athletes to gain more exposure against a top five nation so soon after the recent series in New Zealand where they equipped themselves so well.
"We will be without some of the more experienced members of our World Cup squad, and that in itself provides the platform for our next generation to step into their shoes and demonstrate an exciting future for the team."
England Netball's 14-player squad for South Africa series
Halimat Adio, Imogen Allison, Eleanor Cardwell, Amy Carter, Funmi Fadoju, Sasha Glasgow, Hannah Joseph, Berri Neil, Jayda Pechova, Razia Quashie, Ellie Rattu, Alicia Scholes, Olivia Tchine, Fran Williams
England vs South Africa series:
December 5: Manchester, 7pm
December 9: Nottingham, 5pm
December 10: Nottingham, 2pm