The England team head out to Australia ahead of their autumn tour.
They begin their campaign against Australia in the 1st Test at Bendigo on Sunday 19th October, before heading to Canberra for the 2nd Test on Wednesday 22nd October. Both matches will be shown on Skysports.
The team then fly on New Zealand for test matches on 28th and 31st October.
Little over a week later the England Fives will be in action at the annual Fast5 competition which is once against hosted in Auckland. This year the action has been streamlined into two days of match play with each nation playing each other once and the semi-final stages scrapped. The top two from the league table will face off for Fast5 glory. The nations competing for honours are: Australia, England, Jamaica, Malawi, New Zealand and South Africa.
The history of the Fast 5 competition is as follows: A fast and furious version of Netball was launched in England five years ago when the World Netball Series was introduced to the netballing world as FASTNET.
The world’s top six netballing nations were brought together to play under new rules including six-minute quarters, rolling substitutions, two point shots from outside the traditional Netball circle and exciting power-play quarters.
Netball’s biggest stars stepped onto court in Manchester in 2009 for the first FASTNET edition and it was New Zealand, despite mixed results in round-robin play, which lifted the spoils for the first time.
One year later, the tournament was again played in Liverpool and most of the six national coaches took the opportunity to introduce new players to the shorter form of the game. New Zealand again, took home the FASTNET trophy and it wasn’t until 2011 that England broke through to win their first FASTNET championship beating New Zealand in the final by seven goals.
The evolution of this dynamic form of Netball took another step forward in 2012 with the introduction of Fast5, played for the first time at the Fast5 Netball World Series in Auckland. Similar to FASTNET, the changes included on-court team numbers reduced from seven to five players and three goal scoring zones, with New Zealand selected to host the tournament for the next three years.
New Zealand stole the show last November, can they make history by becoming three-peat Fast5 Netball World Series Champions or can England spoil the party and once again lift the trophy?