England netball improving thanks to Aussie comp

 

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Caitlin Thwaites of Australia battles with Ama Agbeze of England earlier this year.

DIAMONDS coach Lisa Alexander expects to see a significantly improved England at next years Commonwealth Games and Australian netball has only itself to blame.

Alexander said numerous English players are benefiting from the intensity and quality of Super Netball which threw its doors open to unlimited imports for the inaugural season.

English players have been making quite a mark this season with Serena Guthrie and Jo Harten stars for the Giants and Helen Housby making a big impact for the Swifts in NSW alone.

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Serena Guthrie of the Giants (orange) has made a big impact for the Giants this year.

Serena Guthrie of the Giants (orange) has made a big impact for the Giants this year.Source:Getty Images

Alexander believes this exposure to such elite level competition will only benefit the national English side come Commonwealth Games time next April.

“The English are definite getting the benefits of this program,” Alexander said.

“They have their top seven playing here or in New Zealand so Tracey (Neville, coach) is getting that level of competition, intensive training environment that everyone wants.

“Their own Super League is growing as well.

“They will be stronger, there is no doubt.”

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Made Robinson, Kimberley Ravaillion and Renae Hallinan celebrate after winning Commonwealth Games gold in Glasgow.

Made Robinson, Kimberley Ravaillion and Renae Hallinan celebrate after winning Commonwealth Games gold in Glasgow.Source:Getty Images

The netball competition at the Games will be contested by 12 teams. headed by defending champions Australia, New Zealand and England.

Australia took the gold off New Zealand at the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow for its third win in five tournaments.

New Zealand has won the other two gold medals since the sport debuted at the 1998 Games in Kuala Lumpur with England winning three bronze medals in Commonwealth Game netball.

There are seven players from England currently competing in Super Netball with two from New Zealand, Jamaica, Scotland, Trinidad and Tobago, Malawi, and South Africa.

New Zealanders who wish to represent the Silver Ferns are not allowed to compete in the Super Netball competition.

Super Netball is on a bye over Easter with round nine to be played next weekend.