August 4, 2021

Scotland to host Wales, NI in training matches

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The Scottish Thistles, Wales and Northern Ireland Warriors will compete in a series of training matches at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena from August 20-22; the three home nations have not featured on the international stage since 2019

Last Updated: 23/06/21 12:09pm

‘The Scottish Thistles will be playing their first fixtures under their head coach Tamsin Greenway’ ‘The Scottish Thistles will be playing their first fixtures under their head coach Tamsin Greenway’

‘The Scottish Thistles will be playing their first fixtures under their head coach Tamsin Greenway’

Netball Scotland have announced that they will host a series of international training matches between the Scottish Thistles, Wales and Northern Ireland Warriors in August.

The three home nations have not featured on the international stage since 2019, but they are set to lock horns from August 20-22 at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.

The Scottish Thistles, Wales and Northern Ireland Warriors are ranked 8th, 9th, and 11th in the world respectively, and their clashes will provide crucial preparation for the sides ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

This event will also mark the Thistles’ first chance to compete on the international stage since Tamsin Greenway was announced as Scotland’s Head Coach in March 2020.

“After such a strange initial 18 months in the role I’m so excited to finally be able to confirm match play for our Scottish Thistles,” Greenway said.

“It has been such a long time since this group has stepped out together as a national side against international opposition.

Greenway was appointed Scotland's Head Coach in March 2020 Greenway was appointed Scotland's Head Coach in March 2020

Greenway was appointed Scotland’s Head Coach in March 2020

“I know all three teams will be very happy to be back out on court and we are looking forward to the challenge of the competition.

“It is the first step for us as we build up to next year’s Commonwealth Games, and will give me a real opportunity to work with the players, develop combinations and just be together as a group.”

Northern Ireland Warriors are yet to confirm their qualification for next year’s Commonwealth Games, but head coach Elaine Rice – preparing for her fourth stint in charge – insists it’s a perfect opportunity to assess their progress.

“Our Warriors are excited to get back on court to assess where we are and what we need to do to ensure qualification for Commonwealth Games,” Rice added.

Glasgow's Emirates Arena will play host to the Scottish Thistles, Wales and Northern Ireland Warriors in August Glasgow's Emirates Arena will play host to the Scottish Thistles, Wales and Northern Ireland Warriors in August

Glasgow’s Emirates Arena will play host to the Scottish Thistles, Wales and Northern Ireland Warriors in August

“We are fortunate that we are now in a position to compete. We always relish our rivalries with Scotland and Wales, so we will enjoy our training knowing these games are coming up.”

Wales Head Coach Sara Hale is also relishing her first outing since being promoted to the role in February 2020.

Having made 87 appearances for her country, Hale enjoyed a successful spell as assistant coach after joining in October 2018, guiding Wales to a seven-game unbeaten run in international Test matches.

“It is really pleasing to have friendly competition in the calendar against both Scotland and Northern Ireland,” Hale admitted.

“It will not only be a welcome return to international netball, but also an exciting opportunity for us to expose players and assess where we are as a group, ahead of what is a crucial year for us.”

Sky Sports is your home of netball. The Vitality Netball Superleague continues on Saturday, with the semi-finals live on Sky Sports Action and Mix and streamed on the Sky Sports YouTube channel from 1.30pm.