Leeds Rhinos netballer Elle McDonald moves from Australia straight into England Roses squad
Elle McDonald, 28, who was born in Leigh but moved to Australia when she was eight, is one of 24 players named to the Roses squad for a four-game series in South Africa from Saturday January 21 to Wednesday January 25.
Featuring four of the top five nations in the world, the series is a key marker on the road to the 2023 World Cup to be held in South Africa next summer.
McDonald joined Rhinos from Adelaide Thunderbirds for the 2023 Vitality Superleague season and is the only Leeds player named in the 24-player the squad that also heads to Jamaica for an international in the early new year.
McDonald said: “Before coming over to the UK I didn’t have too many expectations as I was just going to come out here and enjoy being in England and playing netball at this level and that’s exactly what I have done, so I think all the little bonuses that have come along have just been the cherry on top.
“To be called up to train with England has been an absolutely amazing experience. Coming over here I wasn’t expecting to be involved in the England Roses squad but to be invited and to be in that training camp environment for a while and just getting back to really enjoying netball and pushing myself and I have been embracing the challenge it’s really nice to get that reward and I am looking forward to this upcoming test series.
“I am always learning and there’s always room for improvement, as we know there are some amazing, talented, experienced players in that England Roses squad so I am taking as much knowledge as I can from those players and it is pretty unreal to work with some of these athletes day in day out in some of those training camps.”
McDonald has been involved in pre-season training with her new team-mates and they play a friendly against Loughborough Lightning in Huddersfield on Saturday.
"It has been great to get out on court with the girls,” said McDonald. “We are all really getting along off the court which I think is really important and Liana [Leota, Rhinos head coach] is driving that.
"We know that Loughborough are going to test us so it will be a really good indicator of where we are at.”