Leeds Rhinos netball pair make Roses squad to face Jamaica Sunshine Girls in Vitality Legends Series

Leeds Rhinos' Jade Clarke. Picture: Gary Longbottom/JPIMedia.Leeds Rhinos' Jade Clarke. Picture: Gary Longbottom/JPIMedia.
Leeds Rhinos' Jade Clarke. Picture: Gary Longbottom/JPIMedia.
Dynamic Leeds Rhinos Netball duo, Jade Clarke and Vicki Oyesola, have been included in the Vitality Roses squad to face Jamaica Sunshine Girls on ‘home turf’ next month.

Roses head coach, Jess Thirlby, has announced 15 players, including one training partner for the Vitality Netball Legends Series, which is scheduled for January 22, 24, 26 and 28 and which will be aired live across Sky Sports Mix/Arena and YouTube.

Owing to the ongoing pandemic, the series will be played behind closed doors with strict Covid-19 testing and protocols in place as per Government guidance.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Vitality Roses, who are currently placed third in the world, will be battling the Sunshine Girls for the Jean Hornsby Cup, named in celebration of the first black England netball player and her on-courtachievements. Thirlby said: “We have got an exciting team heading into this series, with some big names like Serena Guthrie, Helen Housby, Jade Clarke, Fran Williams and Natalie Haythornthwaite who competed in the Vitality Netball World Cup in 2019 in the line-up, plus we’ll see the return of Layla Guscoth and Beth Cobden on court after injury.

Leeds Rhinos' Vicki Oyesola in combative action (left). Picture: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images.Leeds Rhinos' Vicki Oyesola in combative action (left). Picture: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images.
Leeds Rhinos' Vicki Oyesola in combative action (left). Picture: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images.

“This series provides the opportunity to continue to test existing and new combinations as well as create connections between our rising stars and the more experienced players, some, returning for the first time since the World Cup.”

She added: “Getting to play New Zealand in November was a big opportunity for us and we’re grateful to get another chance to play a top-ranking team, this time on home soil.

“A Vitality Roses v Jamaica clash never fails to disappoint and has, in the past led to some of the most competitive matches in global netball. It is great to see the strength of the side that forms the touring group from Jamaica, which will demand from us the highest levels of performance needed to win on the international stage.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It plays a significant part in our preparations for Birmingham and beyond and we can’t wait to get back on court and to look ahead to 2021 and beyond.”

The leadership structure for the squad will see Guthrie and Haythornthwaite co-captain the team as they head into the series.

And Haythornthwaite added: “It is an honour to step back on court alongside fellow Vitality Roses team-mates and wear the iconic red dress again, not only to get more international experience under our belts as a team, but to also shine a spotlight on our sport and give our fans something to look forward to after the events of the last year.

“The last time we played Jamaica was in the Vitality Netball Nations Cup last January and they didn’t fail to show what a strong and fierce side they are, we’re really looking forward to the opportunity and to stepping out on court against them again. It’s going to be a great chance to test ourselves on the international stage and build towards a home Commonwealth Games in 2022.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Support the YEP and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news and the latest on Leeds United, With a digital subscription, you see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click HERE to subscribe.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.