Saracens Mavericks well represented as England Roses name squad for Jamaica series

England netball player Layla Guscoth

Former Hertfordshire Mavericks captain Layla Guscoth in action for England Roses netball. - Credit: ALLAN MCKENZIE/SWPIX.COM

Saracens Mavericks are well-represented after England Roses named their squad for the Vitality Netball Legends Series.

The Hatfield-based Superleague side, who previously played under the Hertfordshire Mavericks name, supply four former players and one current star to the 15-strong squad chosen by head coach Jess Thirlby to face the Jamaica Sunshine Girls next month.

England netball players in a huddle

An overhead shot of the England huddle before the game with Scotland at the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool. - Credit: ALEX WHITEHEAD/SWPIX.COM

George Fisher, Sophie Drakeford-Lewis, Summer Artman and Layla Guscoth are the ex-Mavericks to be included while Razia Quashie still prowls the goalkeeper position for the red and black outfit.

The legends series, which is scheduled for four dates between January 22 and 28, will be played behind closed doors but aired live across various media platforms.

There will also be strict testing protocols in place as per the government guidance relating to elite sport as the teams battle for the Jean Hornsby Cup, named in celebration of the first black England netball player and all her achievements on the court.

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 Netball World Cup in 2019.

England netball players Natalie Haythornthwaite and Helen Housby

Natalie Haythornthwaite and Helen Housby of England after the loss to New Zealand at the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool. - Credit: ALEX WHITEHEAD/SWPIX.COM

"Plus we’ll see the return of Layla Guscoth and Beth Cobden on court after overcoming injury.

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“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.

“A Roses v Jamaica clash never fails to disappoint and has led to some of the most competitive matches in global netball.

"It is great to see the strength of the Jamaica side which will demand the highest levels of performance from us."

England netball player Serena Guthrie

Serena Guthrie playing for England against Jamaica at the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool. - Credit: ALEX WHITEHEAD/SWPIX.COM

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

Haythornthwaite added: “The last time we played Jamaica was in the 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.”

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