Vitality Roses England Tour to Australia Canceled Due to Coronavirus Restrictions

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Vitality Roses England Tour to Australia Canceled Due to Coronavirus Restrictions


The evolution of COVID-19 restrictions in Australia has ended the series of scheduled tests of the Roses (Image credit – Ben Lumley)

Vitality Roses’ test run against the Australian Diamonds has been canceled due to evolving coronavirus restrictions in Australia.

Jess Thirlby’s side, who are currently in New Zealand after their series victory over the Silver Ferns, were due to travel to Australia for three more matches in October.

However, despite huge behind-the-scenes efforts at Netball Australia and England Netball to navigate the evolving coronavirus restrictions in Australia, the Vitality Roses will instead be returning from New Zealand in the coming days.

Since leaving England for the New Zealand part of the tour, border restrictions have changed in Australia with the introduction of an extended quarantine period. This would severely limit the possibilities to train and prepare for international competitions, and the stricter conditions currently in place would compromise the well-being of the players.

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Read the match report from the final test between England and New Zealand in Christchurch

“The athletes, the performance team and everyone at England Netball are extremely disappointed that this series couldn’t happen,” said David Parsons, England Netball Director of Performance.

“Everyone was very excited to face the Diamonds and show the progress we have made as a team.

“We want to thank Netball Australia for their great partnership in trying to make the tour possible.

“Despite the tireless efforts of both sides, the impact of the travel restrictions currently in place between Australia and New Zealand on quarantine and team preparation means that it is unfortunately not possible to continue in Australia as expected.

England to face Jamaica in ‘Roses reunited’ series

England’s netball team will meet on a home court later this year as they host a three-match ‘Vitality Roses Reunited Series’ series against Jamaica.

“Sailing in elite sport and international competition is a challenge in these times and it was a big accomplishment to travel to New Zealand and finish the series against the Silver Ferns.

“Coming to this stage of the tour and not being able to complete the Australian stage is very sad, but I am very proud of Jess Thirlby, the Vitality Roses and the team behind the team, for their patience, their resilience and their understanding during this time.

“I also want to acknowledge our disappointment at not being able to unite our Roses players in New Zealand with our Roses players in Australia who were waiting to join the team when we arrived in the country.

“We will now hope to bring these players together at home and prepare as one playgroup for the series against Jamaica at home in November and December as we continue our journey to Birmingham 2022.

“I also want to thank the fans for their support during our time in New Zealand and hope they are excited about the games we have played against the Silver Ferns and the historic series victory we have achieved. “

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