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England’s netball Test series against Australia called off due to COVID quarantine requirements

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Australia’s netball series against England slated for next month will not go ahead because of travel and quarantine issues.

Netball Australia (NA) released a statement saying it had “worked tirelessly” to get the Roses into the country, but the closure of the trans-Tasman travel bubble put paid to their efforts.

England’s netball side spent 14 days in hotel quarantine in Christchurch in August and September, before their series against New Zealand, after which they planned to travel to Australia.

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But the travel bubble closed while they were in quarantine.

No dates and venues had been confirmed for the series, and NA said it had been working with state governments to try to work within current quarantine arrangements for international arrivals, but no solution could be found.

“The series was cancelled based on a combination of factors, including the health and wellbeing of athletes, coaches and performance staff and limited opportunities to prepare for a series between two of the world’s best netball nations,” an NA statement read.

England Netball performance director David Parsons said they were “extremely disappointed” the series would not go ahead.

“Navigating elite sport and international competition is challenging during these times and it has been a significant achievement to travel to New Zealand and complete the series against the Silver Ferns,” Parsons said.

“To get to this stage of the tour and not be able to complete the Australian leg is very saddening, but I am very proud of [coach] Jess Thirlby, the Vitality Roses, and the team behind the team, for their patience, resilience and understanding during this time.”

The English team will return home to prepare for a series against Jamaica in November and December, on the road to defending their Commonwealth Games gold medal in Birmingham next August.

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