The England netball squad are eagerly awaiting negative Covid-19 test results tomorrow as they look to begin preparations for their Test matches with the Silver Ferns in 10 days’ time.
A negative test result would mean they can make the 15-minute commute from their hotel, where they stay under managed isolation, to their training venue at Action Indoor Sports in Hornby.
The side are currently without head coach Jess Thirlby, who tested positive for Covid-19 just 24 hours before she and the squad were scheduled to leave for New Zealand.
Remaining in England, Thirlby will be tuning in via Zoom to assist in the squad’s training whilst acting head coach Kat Ratnapala oversees the team in person.
Ratnapala doesn’t underestimate the challenges ahead, with many players returning to the sport after long periods in lockdown and isolation.
“It is a jam-packed kind of session, obviously, returning to play for a lot of the players who’ve been isolated back home and making sure we're in our bubbles, etc. so we can safely get out here as much as we can,” Ratnapala said.
“It's still unreal and a bit surreal being here, but for us its an opportunity we couldn’t turn down. And the fact NZ and England will be the first ones from an international perspective to get back on stage is a fantastic one for us.”
The three-match series between the Silver Ferns and England is set to kick off on Wednesday 28 October at Cladelands Arena in Hamilton.