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Silver Ferns to face England in three-Test series in New Zealand

The world champion Silver Ferns will face current Commonwealth Games champions England in a three test series next month.

Jane Watson of New Zealand and Eboni Usoro-Brown of England during the Netball World Cup 2019 semi final. Source: Photosport

The first international netball match since Covid-19 struck.

Dame Noeline Taurua told 1 NEWS the two nations are leading the way in women's sport

"The competition is going to be fierce and overall it's fantastic for our game of netball."

The three-Test Series will see the Silver Ferns and Vitality Roses in action at Claudelands Arena in Hamilton on Wednesday 28 October, Friday 30 October and Sunday 1 November.

In less than two weeks England will be flying to New Zealand where they will carry out two weeks of isolation in Christchurch.

England Roses coach Jess Tilbry told 1 NEWS they'd been working on a series with the Ferns for some time.

"We've had a lot of plan a's and plan b's - put it that way - but we are very grateful now it can go full steam ahead and jump on that plane and get over to you."

The Roses will be allowed to train together after three days of isolating. They then are expected to play at least one build-up match ahead of the first Test.

Tilbry said the warm-up will be crucial for England whose players haven't played a competitive match since early March.

"It's our reality" Tilbry said.

"Whilst it presents a degree of anxiety of how are we going to match up. Equally it presents a huge motivator to get a sense of purpose."

The Silver Ferns will be using the Cadbury Netball Series to prepare for the international matches.

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Sulu Fitzpatrick and NZ Men's captain Kruze Tangira said it's great to see men's netball getting more recognition. Source: Breakfast

Taurua added she will be looking to select players not only from her Silver Ferns squad but also the Development and Under 21 sides.

"Over 40 athletes will be looked at - that's provided they meet the fitness criteria," she said.

"Then it's open book!"

Netball NZ Chief Executive Jennie Wyllie said she was delighted to confirm the international series and acknowledged England for making the long trip to make it happen.

“We are really excited to have the Vitality Roses come to New Zealand and we know what a significant moment this is for netball to host the first international game since Covid-19 forced changes around the world,” she said.

“England are reigning Commonwealth Games champions and a top-class opponent. It’s pleasing to finally announce this series and we know netball fans all over the world will lock these dates in to their calendars.”