With the Netball Quad Series commencing this weekend in London, The Inner Sanctum is previewing players to watch out for from each of the four sides in the lead up to the opening game.
The Quad Series hosts are in fine form and will be a formidable opponent for any side in the upcoming 12 months. Fresh off defeating New Zealand in 2021, and winning the gold medal in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the England Roses have their eyes set on further disrupting the Australia/New Zealand dominance in netball.
The 37-year-old veteran is a player that most Aussie netball fans will be familiar with, with the goal keeper playing professionally in Australia for over a decade. The Collingwood Magpies captain has continued to thrive even as she has gotten older.
Mentor won the Magpies Best and Fairest award back-to-back in 2019 and 2020. She brings a wealth of experience to the England Roses with 146 caps for her country, which she will be looking in add to in the upcoming series.
Mentor has established herself as one of the best defenders in the world for over a decade and continues to prove that year after year. The goal keeper has a brilliant all-round game and a high netball IQ.
Her all-round athleticism is constantly on show as she continues to prove that age is just a number for her. She has won countless honours at both individual and team level, and helped sides to numerous premierships.
Mentor’s exceptional leadership qualities make her a great player to continue to have in the England setup, as they look to try and build a golden generation in the coming years.
Another England Roses legend, Clarke holds the record for the most caps of all-time with 183. The 38-year-old was first called up to the England national team in 2002, and has cemented her place in the squad since.
The wing defence is currently plying her trade for the Leeds Rhinos in the Vitality Netball Superleague and has re-signed for 2022. Clarke went on to win the Players’ Player of the Year for the Rhinos in 2021.
Throughout a highly esteemed career, Clarke spent a brief spell playing netball in Australia. In 2015, she joined the NSW Swifts for a season before moving to the Adelaide Thunderbirds for two seasons.
Clarke brings a wealth of experience to the England midcourt, and her actions have been a catalyst to lifting the Roses on multiple occasions as her work-rate and determination is second-to-none.
Housby will go down in England Roses history all thanks to one moment in the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Australia and England were level on points and Housby was given the chance to break the hearts of the Aussie Diamonds on home soil when she was awarded a penalty shot after the siren to win the gold medal.
She would make the shot to seal England’s first ever gold medal, making it the first country aside from Australia and New Zealand to win gold at the Commonwealth Games. Since Housby’s 2018 heroics, she has continued to prove herself as a big-game player guiding her club and country to more success.
The 26-year-old has been a key member of the NSW Swifts since joining them in 2017 and she has helped guide them to championships in 2019 and 2021.
The goal attack has been renowned for making game-winning shots, also making the winning shot in the 2014 Netball Superleague grand final for Manchester Thunder, at just 19-years-old. Her calmness on the ball has made her a key player in close games.
Having a player as calm and collected as Housby will undoubtedly go a long way towards England winning more silverware in the future.
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The 33-year-old defender will be one Firebirds fans will be wanting to keep a keen eye on this series, as Usoro-Brown will be joining the Queensland Firebirds for the 2022 Super Netball season. She has also previously played for both the West Coast Fever and Adelaide Thunderbirds in Australia.
Usoro-Brown was part of the defence that guided England to win its first piece of major silverware in 2018, and will look to continue that success when she teams up with her partner in crime Geva Mentor.
The new Firebirds signing has an excellent ability of being able to read the play and cut out key passes into the circle. After giving birth in 2020, many would have thought she may not make an appearance for the Roses again.
However, she came back in leaps and bounds for Team Bath in 2021 in the Netball Superleague, and earnt her recall to side last year.
Now she will be looking to build on impressive performances against Jamaica as she sets her eyes on what could be her fourth successive Commonwealth Games if she is included in the squad later this year.
The England Roses vice-captain has been in great form and helped the Swifts to the 2021 premiership. The wing attack played in the dying moments of the 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medal match, and will look to be a thorn in the Aussies’ side again.
She joined the Swifts in 2018 and went on to win two premierships in her four seasons before announcing she would return to the UK for 2022. Her leadership and vision sets her apart and makes her a key asset to England, with its sights set on joining Australia and New Zealand as a powerhouse of netball.
The 29-year-old’s stamina is also the envy of many teammates, as she dominates the midcourt with her constant movement. The England Roses will look to have on of the strongest midcourts in the Quad Series with captain Serena Guthrie at centre also in the form of her life, looking to continue her great partnership with Haythornthwaite.
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