It’s so far, so good for Tracey Neville’s England side in this month’s Quad Series.
The Roses passed a thorny test against New Zealand in their opening game, at Liverpool’s Echo Arena.
But the weekend is the real exam – with games against South Africa and an Australia side bidding for a third successive Quad Series title.
Ahead of the crucial double-header for the hosts, we look at three of the top talents England fans are hanging their hats on…
Serena Guthrie (Team Bath)
England’s captain for this tournament is a bundle of energy, possessing real speed and power on the court. With over a decade of experience in the England side, Guthrie also knows exactly how to handle these occasions.
The versatile 29-year-old defender is equally comfortable centrally and on the wing, and captained the Roses to a Gold medal in last year’s Commonwealth Games.
Having enjoyed a successful spell in Australia with Giants Netball (winning the team’s MVP award in the 2017 season), she’ll also have the inside track on a number of the Diamonds squad.
Part of a family with plenty of sporting pedigree, she’s also the sister of Stevenage FC striker Kurtis Guthrie.
Jade Clarke (Wasps Netball)
One of the grand old guard which also includes Rachel Dunn and Geva Mentor, 35-year-old Clarke is a tirelessly reliable midcourt defender.
With over 150 caps under her belt, the intelligent defender has been arguably England’s most consistent and important player since making her debut in 2002.
Though not one of the bigger players in Neville’s side at a modest 5’9”, the Wasps ace more than makes up for that in skill and leadership.
Helen Housby (New South Wales Swifts)
Another with experience down under, Housby produced yet another match-winning display in Sunday’s defeat of New Zealand, scoring 25 of her 31 attempts (or 81%).
The Goal Attacker overpowered and outmanoeuvred one of netball’s top defences for the entire contest, and created a number of chances for attacking partner Joanne Harten.
If the pair are on song this weekend, Australia’s Diamonds could struggle to shine against England in what promises to be a sensational showdown.
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