Natalie Haythornthwaite to captain England Roses in South Africa

Natalie Haythornthwaite has been named as the Vitality Roses’ captain for England’s upcoming three-Test series against South Africa.

Haythornthwaite made her international debut against Trinidad & Tobago in 2015 and has since notched up 43 international caps.

She was part of the history-making team that secured a Commonwealth Games gold medal in Australia and also was an integral part of the recent Netball World Cup squad.

On the domestic front, Haythornthwaite won back to back Vitality Netball Superleague titles with Wasps Netball. After making a move to New South Wales Swifts last year, she added a Suncorp Super Netball title to her achievements this September.

Three-Test Series – Fixtures

Laura Malcolm, who has returned to the Roses after time away from the international scene, has been named as the squad’s vice-captain.

The opening Test against South Africa will be played on November 29 and will be live on Sky Sports from 4.30pm with the first Centre Pass taking place at 5pm. The next two Tests will follow on consecutive days after and will also be shown live.

“It’s a huge honour to be named captain of the Vitality Roses for the upcoming series with South Africa,” Haythornthwaite said.

“I am really excited about representing my country again for the first time since the Vitality Netball World Cup in July. I can’t wait to stand on court next to the other amazing athletes that make up this squad and I hope that the country will be watching and supporting us throughout it.”

Natalie is well-liked and a respected member of the team. She’s approachable, positive and knows what it takes to win. I believe she has developed more of the grit, robustness and resilience needed to lead on some of the biggest stages and there is more depth to her leadership now. She represents the values and behaviours we care about most as a Roses team and leads by example out on court.

Jess Thirlby about her captain for this series

“It’s important we have a captain going into this test series that has the experience and exposure that Natalie has and that there are others around her that can support her as captain,” head coach Jess Thirlby said about the appointment.

“We are continuing to invest in all of our players and really embracing the mix of leaders we have and I think now’s a great time to give Natalie the responsibility and privilege of leading her team as captain.”

The Roses’ Test matches against South Africa will formally mark the start of a new four-year international cycle after their recent behind-closed-doors encounters Down Under.

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