ENGLAND Roses will welcome back star defender Geva Mentor for next month’s Quad Series after the goalkeeper finished up her Super Netball preseason with the Magpies. Mentor returns to the Roses outfit after missing the Roses Reunited Series against Jamaica, replacing Fran Williams in the 14-player squad from that series. The Roses won the series 2-1 and will be looking to continue that form in the Quad Series against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
Mentor adds to a remarkably deep defensive goal circle, with Eboni Usoro-Brown and Stacey Francis-Bayman both more than capable of starting as well. Layla Guscoth who will likely share the wing defence bib with Beth Cobden to start, and the Roses are rock solid in the back third.
Captain Serena Guthrie is just as versatile rolling into wing defence, but will have the first centre pass in London. Laura Malcolm, Imogen Allison and the equally-experienced Jade Clarke will be other options for coach Jess Thirlby.
Looking to attack and Natalie Haythornthwaite won Player of the Series in the Roses Reunited Series. She will be starting wing attack but can go into both centre and even goal attack if required. Eleanor Cardwell also won a Player of the Match award in game one of the recent series. She has put pressure on starters Helen Housby and Jo Harten in the goal circle. Sophie Drakeford-Lewis can play both goal attack and wing attack, while George Fisher rounds out the squad as another option to slot in the goal circle.
ENGLAND ROSES 2022 QUAD SERIES SQUAD:
- Imogen Allison
- Eleanor Cardwell
- Jade Clarke
- Beth Cobden
- Sophie Drakeford-Lewis
- George Fisher
- Stacey Francis-Bayman
- Layla Guscoth
- Serena Guthrie (Captain)
- Jo Harten
- Nat Haythornthwaite
- Helen Housby
- Laura Malcolm
- Geva Mentor
- Eboni Usoro-Brown
Thrilby said she was excited to welcome Mentor back to the side and was keen to continue their form against the world’s best nations next month.
“It is great to be able to name such a strong squad and to be welcoming back Geva to the team,” she said to the England Netball website. “It is indicative of the talent that we have in the Roses programme and competition for places remains high which is helping to drive the high standards we know we will need to meet in order to compete with three of the best teams in the world.
“Whilst we are proud of the recent series wins in New Zealand and against Jamaica which in turn is helping to build confidence, we are restless in our pursuit for better performances and the Netball Quad Series format certainly poses a much bigger challenge with multiple games against varying styles in quick succession and concluding with finals netball for the first time. “Having never won the Quad Series we are under no illusion of how tough a challenge it will be and can’t wait to get back on court and bring our fans world leading netball.”