Women's Sports: Spotlight on the squads competing in the 2020 Vitality Nations Cup

Silver Ferns Head Coach Announcement

The Vitality Roses will come face-to-face against the South Africa SPAR Proteas, the New Zealand Silver Ferns and the Jamaica Sunshine Girls as part of a new international series kicking off next month.

The matches will take place over four days, in three different locations across England and will see the teams compete for a trophy. 

Australia has decided not to enter a team this time around in order to allow their athletes to rest after the four-year cycle came to end in Liverpool earlier this year.

England

Recently appointed Head Coach Jess Thirlby tasted her first success last month when her nascent side overcame South Africa to win the test series 2-1. Hoping to build on the work started in Cape Town, the squad selected for the January’s series stays largely the same; the only notable changes are the omission of Rachel Dunn and the additions of Chelsea Pitman and Amy Carter.

Pitman, who competes in the Suncorp Super Netball league in Australia is brought back into the fold after she was rested for the South Africa Test and Carter comes in as a debutant hoping to win her first cap.

Serena Guthrie, Jo Harten and Geva Mentor were not available for selection after they requested a break from international duties.

The squad: Eleanor Cardwell, George Fisher, Sophie Drakeford-Lewis, Kadeen Corbin, Natalie Haythornthwaite, Laura Malcolm, Amy Carter, Natalie Panagarry, Jade Clarke, Chelsea Pitman, Fran Williams, Kate Shmmin, Stacey Francis.


New Zealand

With the departure of netballing legend Maria Folau and the re-signing of Head Coach Noeline Taurua for one more year, the off-season has certainly not been quiet for the Silver Ferns.

Having just missed out on Constellation Cup victory the World Cup-winning side will arrive in January meaning business having made only three changes to their side.

Taurua recalls Maia Wilison, Whitney Souness and Kimiora Poi to bolster her team after experienced duo Laura Langman and Katrina Rore announced they would be taking a sabbatical after an intense season.

The squad: Bailey Mes, Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Te Paea Selby-Rickit, Maia Wilson, Gina Crampton Shannon Saunders, Kimiora Poi, Whitney Souness, Karin Burger, Phoenix Karaka, Michaela Sokolich-Beatson, Jane Watson. 


South Africa

The SPAR Proteas welcome back with open arms the return of Karla Pretorius who was absent from their recent test loss against the Vitality Roses.

Awarded Player of the Tournament at the Netball World Cup earlier this year Pretorius will hope to reinforce South Africa’s greatest asset: their defence.

Aside from Pretorius the Proteas squad remains largely the same as the one that competed in November’s test series.

The squad: Ine-Marí Venter, Lenize Potgieter, Lefébre Rademan, Sigi Burger, Bongi Msomi, Izette Griesel, Romé Dreyer, Khanyisa Chawane, Phumza Maweni, Shadine van der Merwe, Zanele Vimbela, Karla Pretorius.


Jamaica

Controversy and unrest seemed to define the off-season for the Sunshine Girls as more senior members of the squad reportedly failed to turn up or respond to compulsory training sessions following their fifth-place finish at the Netball World Cup.

All, however, seems to be healed, as Jamaica unveil a strong squad packed with talent ahead of their January campaign.

Looking to recover lost form, expectant Jamaican eyes will be on Shimona Nelson. The shooter who competes for the Collingwood Magpies in Australia missed out on July’s World Cup due to a knee injury.

The squad: Jhaniele Fowler, Shimona Nelson, Shanice Beckford, Gezelle Allison, Jodi Ann Ward, Nicole Dixon, Khadijah Williams, Shadian Hemmings, Shamera Sterling, Kadie Ann-Dehaney Latanya Wilson, Shannika Johnson.

The Vitality Nations Cup will begin on Sunday 19th January at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham where the Vitality Roses will take on New Zealand and Jamaica will face South Africa.

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