Geva Mentor: Netball star left stranded in New Zealand is rescued by charter plane

England netball player Geva Mentor was left "effectively stranded" in New Zealand after the Red Roses' Test series in Australia was cancelled

England netball player Geva Mentor was left "effectively stranded" in New Zealand after the Red Roses' Test series in Australia was cancelled.

Mentor, who is based in Australia, played for the Red Roses during their historic series win against New Zealand earlier this month.

A Test series against Australia was the next challenge, but the event was cancelled because of "evolving Covid-19 restrictions" in the country.

The England squad had been due to fly from New Zealand to Australia on an exempt charter flight, but will now be returning home via Singapore.

This left Mentor, who was looking to travel back to Melbourne, "effectively stranded". Quarantine-free travel from New Zealand to Australia is currently suspended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The next available flight back home was in November, followed by a lengthy period of quarantine. Mentor, captain of Collingwood Magpies, faced missing a large chunk of the Super Netball season if she could not find an alternative way back to Australia. 

The 37-year-old issued a plea on social media, asking for help with getting back to Australia. Her prayers now seem to have been answered – Mentor posted on social media that a "hero of the hour" had arranged a charter plane.

"My Golden Rule 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you'," she wrote. "Thank you for all the wonderful messages & to the hero of the hour for arranging a charter plane for me!"

The post was accompanied by a video of Mentor saying goodbye to her England teammates.

Prior to finding a solution, Mentor had emphasised the importance of getting back to Australia as quickly as possible to BBC South Today.

"The rest of the girls can of course get on a flight back home to England, but that's no good for me and I'm the only one who is effectively stranded here," she said.

"I've been in conversation with other sporting governing bodies and seeing if there's any other teams stuck here trying to get back into Australia.

"I've also been trying to reach influencers, politicians, entrepreneurs - anyone really who might have a spot on a plane I can bag to make it back.

"I really don't mind which port I get back to in Australia, I just need to get back there and have plenty of time to book into quarantine, prepare for pre-season and then the Commonwealth Games next year."

News Now - Sport News