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Wasps excited to spread their wings at Super Club

Photo courtesy Wasps Netball

With their 2020 season just around the corner, England team Wasps’ participation in this year’s Super Club tournament will provide the perfect lead-in.

Mixed squads from Scotland and Wales have attended the tournament previously but this is the first time a Netball Super League team has taken part. They will be joined at the event by New Zealand’s six ANZ Premiership teams and the Collingwood Magpies (Australia) to be held in Nelson from December 8-13.

“This is perfect timing for our pre-season preparation,” Wasps coach Mel Mansfield said.

“We are still two months away (February) from our competition starting in the UK and this has given us an opportunity to prepare well and start some of our game-related play much earlier.

“The girls have been working really hard on fitness with our strength and conditioning coaches for the past six weeks and training at fatigue levels in preparation for a tough competition in Nelson.”

Based in Coventry, Wasps were one of three new teams introduced to the 10-team Super League in 2017 and have enjoyed outstanding success in their short history, winning the title in 2017 and 2018 while finishing runners-up this year.

“Coming to Nelson is a fantastic opportunity for us to play against some of the best athletes in the world,” Mansfield said.

“We hope to be competitive, and the challenge will be the different styles of play. We are bringing a small squad and the travel to get there is long, so recovery and preparation is key. The athletes are well-prepared and we are going to enjoy every moment and hopefully put out strong performances.

“We feel very privileged to be coming to Super Club 2019 and the players and staff are really looking forward to it.”

Many of the Wasps group have never played against the New Zealand or Australian styles and being on tour will provide valuable learning experiences in terms of travel, recovery, change of environment while also developing a strong team bond.

“Being on tour is something that only International players get exposed to in the main and we are just so delighted that we can give this opportunity to others,” Mansfield said.

“It may well push them individually to the next level and obviously, as a squad we are hoping that this will pay dividends for the 2020 season ahead of us.”

With well-travelled midcourter Jade Clarke, who has plied her trade in New Zealand and Australia previously, captain Hannah Knights in the defensive circle, and shooting stalwart Rachel Dunn in their ranks, Wasps have wide-ranging experience across all sectors of the court. Dunn is an inaugural member of the Super League competition which started 15 years ago.

“Amy Flanagan, our super wing defence/centre has never played international netball but easily could do and Josie Huckle is relishing the opportunity to bring her athletic flair to the defensive circle,” Mansfield said.

“Our shooters bring height and accuracy and we have Tamsin Moala (our very own Kiwi connection) in the mix also.”

Twenty games (12-minute quarters) will be played over five days culminating in the Grand Final on December 13.

Tickets are on sale now through ticketek.co.nz, while all games will be broadcast live on Sky Sport.