Roses confirm squads for international events

ENGLAND Roses have confirmed the squads for their three upcoming international events over the next two months. The Roses will take on Uganda in a three-match Vitality International Series on October 5-9 at home, before flying to Australia for a trio of tests between October 26-November 3, finishing up with a FAST5 series against New Zealand on November 5-6.

The Roses, who missed out on taking home silverware at the most recent Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, will be lead once again by head coach Jess Thrilby, who has named a mix of experienced talents and up-and-coming stars. In particular the Vitality International Series features a host of rising players who will potentially don the red dress for the first time at senior international level.

Among those players are shooters Olivia Tchine and Paige Reed, defenders Tash Pavelin, Alice Harvey, Zara Everitt and Alice Harvey, and midcourter Ellie Rattu. The Roses will also welcome back Chelsea Pitman to the starting seven, who joins the likes of capped Roses Eleanor Cardwell, Natalie Panagarry, Imogen Allison, Sophie Drakeford-Lewis, Laura Malcolm, Hannah Joseph and Fran Williams.

After taking on the sixth ranked Uganda, England will face world number ones Australia Down Under, with a far greater level of experience in that lineup. While Tchine, Harvey and Fadoju have earned spots in that squad alongside Allison, Cardwell, Drakeford-Lewis, Joseph, Malcolm and Williams, a greater presence of the Roses that competed in Birmingham will take the court.

The elite defensive duo of Geva Mentor and Layla Guscoth return, as does the shooting duo of Jo Harten and Helen Housby up the other end of the court. Midcourters Jade Clarke and Natalie Metcalf also provide some punch to the team, while Beth Cobden steps back into the lineup having missed the Commonwealth Games.

Unsurprisingly given the turnaround between the Diamonds series and the FAST5 tournament with New Zealand, the 10 players selected for the latter are not playing in the former. Among those picked include Everitt, Pavelin, Rattu and Reed coming off the test series against Uganda a month earlier.

Australian Elle McDonald signed with Leeds Rhinos in the Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) after finishing up with Adelaide Thunderbirds, and is awaiting her British passport to compete in Roses colours. Joining McDonald as inclusions for the tournament are Manchester Thunder duo Taylor McKevitt and Lois Pearson, Team Bath’s Jayda Pechova, London Pulse’s Alicia Scholes and Loughborough Lightning’s Emma Thacker.

One player who made herself unavailable is George Fisher, with the ANZ Premiership shooter a talking point in past weeks about the possibility of representing the Silver Ferns in coming years. However Thrilby said on this occasion her non-selection had been Fisher’s.

“We respect George’s decision to take some time away from international netball in the short term, but the door remains fully open for George to return and represent the Roses again in the future,” Thrilby said.

“As a founding member of the Roses programme, George has been a significant part of the Roses and has shown huge growth and improvement over recent years showing what a bright future she could have ahead of her in the red dress. She is a much-loved member of the team, and we look forward to welcoming her back.”

Speaking on the series themselves, Thrilby was particularly looking forward to taking on Australia, having initially planned to face the Diamonds in Australia last year. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic cancelled that tournament, but now the rivals are set to go head-to-head in another entertaining series.

“To play the world number one team and Commonwealth Games champions on their home soil is something we’ve been keen to do ever since Covid hijacked our plans back in the autumn of 2020,” Thrilby said.

“We know how important it is to play the best teams frequently and in conditions that best prepare us for major tournaments. We look forward to the challenge and to welcoming a few new faces to the team.”

On playing Uganda at home prior to that, Thrilby said she was looking forward to seeing plenty of support back at The Copper Box Arena and Motorpoint Arena. Having defeated the She Cranes at the Commonwealth Games, Thrilby was keen to face them again given their form since Birmingham.

“We were really pleased how well we dealt to the challenge of Uganda at the Commonwealth Games. However, Uganda went on to find some of their best form in Birmingham, beating South Africa and gaining automatic qualification for the World Cup in 2023.

“They will be full of confidence, and we are under no illusion as to how competitive the three matches will be. With both next year and the longer term in mind, it provides a perfect test of a new-look Roses side, full of exciting talent to embrace and we will be buoyed to have the support of our home fans.”


Name Club Position 
Imogen Allison Team Bath Netball WD, C 
Eleanor Cardwell Adelaide Thunderbirds GA, GS 
Sophie Drakeford-Lewis Surrey Storm GA, WA 
Zara Everitt London Pulse GD, WD 
Funmi Fadoju London Pulse GD, GK, WD 
Alice Harvey Loughborough Lightning* GK, GD 
Hannah Joseph Loughborough Lightning* WA, C 
Laura Malcolm Trident Homes Tactix WD, C, WA 
Natalie Panagarry Loughborough Lightning* C, WD 
Natasha Pavelin Team Bath GD, GK, WD 
Chelsea Pitman London Pulse WA 
Ellie Rattu London Pulse C, WD 
Paige Reed Leeds Rhinos GS, GA 
Olivia Tchine London Pulse GS, GA 
Francesca Williams Loughborough Lightning* GD, GK 


Name Club Position 
Imogen Allison Team Bath Netball WD, C 
Eleanor Cardwell Adelaide Thunderbirds (Australia) GA, GS 
Jade Clarke London Pulse C, WD 
Beth Cobden Loughborough Lightning* WD, C 
Sophie Drakeford-Lewis Surrey Storm GA, WA 
Funmi Fadoju London Pulse GD, GK, WD 
Layla Guscoth Surrey Storm GD, GK 
Jo Harten Giants Netball* (Australia) GS, GA 
Alice Harvey Loughborough Lightning* GK, GD 
Helen Housby NSW Swifts (Australia) GA, GS 
Hannah Joseph Loughborough Lightning* WA, C 
Laura Malcolm Trident Homes Tactix (New Zealand) WD, C, WA 
Geva Mentor Collingwood Magpies (Australia) GK, GD 
Natalie Metcalf Manchester Thunder WA, GA 
Olivia Tchine London Pulse GS, GA 
Francesca Williams Loughborough Lightning GD, GK 


Name Club Position 
Zara Everitt London Pulse GD/WD 
Elle McDonald** Leeds Rhinos C/WA/WD 
Taylor McKevitt Manchester Thunder C/WD 
Natasha Pavelin Team Bath GD/GK/WD 
Lois Pearson Manchester Thunder  GA/WA 
Jayda Pechova Team Bath GD/GK 
Ellie Rattu London Pulse C/WD 
Paige Reed Leeds Rhinos GA/GS 
Alicia Scholes London Pulse  C/WA 
Emma Thacker Loughborough Lightning* GA/GS 

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