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The Silver Ferns will host world number three ranked England in New Zealand next month in a three-test series, all matches to be played at Christchurch Arena to minimise additional travel risk for all involved, Netball New Zealand (NNZ) announced last night.
Matches against the Roses are scheduled for September 20, 22 and 24, as the organisation continues to work with the Government around the evolving Covid-19 outbreak and alert levels.
England players boarded a flight yesterday morning, and will go into managed quarantine upon arrival in Christchurch.
Following the series, England is preparing to extend its tour across the Tasman with a series against the Australian Diamonds.
NNZ, England Netball and Netball Australia have been working closely with their respective governments since the start of the year around quarantine prospects and logistics.
The increased complication of New Zealand’s current nationwide lockdown and restrictions means there is still uncertainty around alert levels.
Netball New Zealand chief executive Jennie Wyllie said the latest Covid-19 outbreak had added a great deal of complexity around organising the test series.
“It is exciting to host England on our shores again. I would like to acknowledge the huge amount of work that both England Netball, Netball Australia and our NNZ team have worked tirelessly over a period of many months to enable the tour to get to this point,” she said.
“We have been working closely with government, Sport NZ and High Performance Sport NZ over many months to facilitate this tour [as] we want to ensure our athletes have the best possible opportunities to compete as we head towards the Commonwealth Games in 2022. However, the health and safety of our players, administrators and fans is our priority and we will continue to follow all government guidance.”
Tickets will be released for the matches if, and when Christchurch moves to Alert Level 1.