Head coach Tracey Neville has called on England’s ‘world class’ players to prove themselves against the sport’s top stars in the upcoming Quad Series.
England have been preparing in New Zealand for the four-team tournament, which will see the Roses take on the Silver Ferns, Australia and South Africa, live on Sportsclubsociety.
The 15-player squad is a mixture of youth and experience, including skipper Ama Agbeze, Serena Guthrie, Jade Clarke and Jo Harten, who have all competed against Australian and New Zealand-based players in the ANZ Championship.
Neville admits the more seasoned members of her squad must lead by example as she targets an opening win against New Zealand on Saturday.
“I think we’ve got some relatively experienced players,” Neville told Sportsclubsociety. “Obviously our captain Ama Agbeze, Serena, Jade, and Jo, and Stacey Francis, who has had experience out here.
“We’re depending on them to bring the rest of the group with them. We say about world class players and I do think we do have some world class players in our team.
“The only difference is the short time we’ve had together. We’ve had a great training week out here in New Zealand. Me, the captain, a few of the leadership team, are working diligently in respect to trying to get good team spirit, good team morale. That is something we’re going to have to keep working hard at over the next few years, with players being all over the world, playing netball.
England took the bronze medal in last summer’s Netball World cup after defeating Jamaica, while Australia beat New Zealand in the final to become world champions.
A year later, Neville believes the Quad Series is a perfect chance for her to gauge the development of England’s players.
“We need to know now where we are in respect to New Zealand and Australia,” she said.
“Every game, we will be going strong for to set our markers going into the Commonwealth Games and into the World Cup 2019.
“We’ve got a lot of bridges to build and I think this is a chance to see if we can actually beat them now, and how we can build on that going forward.”
Saturday 27 August
0400-0600: Live – Australia v South Africa (Sportsclubsociety 3)
0600-0800: Live – England v New Zealand (Sportsclubsociety 3)